Ms. Fan Haze, a Chinese journalist who works for Bloomberg News, was detained on 7 December by the Beijing National Security Bureau, allegedly on suspicion of endangering national security.
We expect the Chinese authorities to grant her medical assistance if needed, prompt access to a lawyer of her choice, and contacts with her family.
Other Chinese journalists or citizens have disappeared this year, or been detained or harassed, after engaging in reporting. These include among others Zhang Zhan, Chen Qiushi and Fang Bin, who reported on the COVID-19 outbreak.
All those arrested and detained in connection with their reporting activity should be immediately released.
In its report ‘Control, Halt, Delete: Reporting in China under Threat of Expulsion’ published on 2 March, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China highlighted a “continued decline of reporting conditions” in China. The report notes that foreign journalists working in China have experienced expulsion, revocation of credentials, visa denials and limitations on visa extensions.
The EU is strongly committed to upholding media freedom and pluralism, as well as the right to information and freedom to hold opinions.
States have an obligation to respect, protect and promote the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, and must take active steps to promote a safe environment for journalists and other media actors, enabling them to carry out their work independently, without undue interference and without fear of violence or persecution.