China ‘harassed’ foreign journalists in 2022, surveillance shows report

Foreign journalists in China faced strict COVID controls, harassment and constant surveillance in 2022, a report said. The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) said that nearly half of foreign journalists in China were ordered to leave or denied access to a location in 2022 on health and safety grounds, even though they reported “health by China’s own standards”. risk” has not been introduced. in its annual report.

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Fifty percent of reporters also said they encountered problems with smartphone “health codes” in China that prevented them from traveling at some point last year. Nearly 40 percent said at least one of their sources had been harassed, detained, interrogated or faced other negative consequences for speaking to foreign media, while 45 percent reported similar threats to Chinese colleagues. Informed of official pressure, the report further stated.

The ban on journalists was linked to China’s COVID restrictions, which included lengthy quarantines and mass testing – a policy Beijing scrapped in December.

“A raft of government restrictions, ongoing digital surveillance, and continued harassment of Chinese collaborators and sources means that challenges remain to the true freedom of the press in China,” the report said. The report was based on a survey of 102 of the FCCC’s 166 members, representing news organizations from 30 countries and territories.

China was ranked 175 out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ 2022 Media Freedom Index.

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