BEIJING, China – A group of United States House lawmakers named among others China Russia and Belarus as nations that committed “repressive and brutal actions” against journalists, according to sources.
But Beijing dropped the accusations, saying they are “lies” and that “the local people are living a safe and happy life” in Xinjiang.
On World Press Freedom Day honored Tuesday, the lawmakers introduced a resolution, listing countries that has “worst media environment in the world” for journalists and media practitioners.
China is “one of the worst media environments in the world and seeks to curtail political speech inside and outside the country…,” stated the resolution, citing the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 2021 findings.
In total, at least 50 journalists are imprisoned in China, according to CPJ’s 2021 report released last December. Of which, 22 of them are Uyghur journalists from Xinjiang, who make up 44% of the incarcerated journalists in China and 7.5% of the 293 jailed journalists worldwide in 2021.
Bahram Sintash, a Uyghur American, urged US government to “speak up” for Uyghur journalist who are detained in China, including his father for years.
“The U.S. government should speak up for many Uyghur journalists like my father who are arbitrarily detained and imprisoned by the Chinese authorities,” Sintash, who lives in Virginia, told VOA.
Sintash father, Qurban Mamut, was the former chief editor of the China-controlled Uyghur journal Xinjiang Civilization.
Four years passed since Sintash lost contact with his father, saying in February he learned his fathers was taken by Chines officials form his residence in Urumqi, the capital of Xingjian in northwest China, for a 15-year imprisonment.
Rights groups and some countries, including the U.S., have accused China of mistreating Uyghurs, including subjecting more than 1 million Uyghurs to mass internment for “reeducation,” forced sterilization and labor or those either in and out of detention since late 2016, as the VOA wrote.
Meanwhile, Journalists in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan – Honoring the World Media Freedom Day on Tuesday, Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) expressed “deep concern” over the increasing number of media practitioners being arrested throughout the country, said AFJC in a written statement to Khaama Press.
The center underscored the sudden collapse of the media outlets since the Taliban takeover last August, warning of the “consequences” such a process could bring in the country.
“On this day, the Afghanistan Journalists’ Center expresses its deep concern over the increase in the number of arrests of journalists and media workers and the sudden collapse of the media in the country, and warns of the consequences of this process,” said AFJC in a statement.
Statistics from last 12 months by the AFJC show at least four journalists and media practitioners have lost their lives in Afghanistan: three as a result of two ISIS-affiliated explosions in Kabul and one person during coverage of the war between the Taliban and former government forces in Kandahar.
The report also showed about 130 other incidents against journalists and media practitioners, where about 90 cases were short and long-term detention up to a month, including violence and threats.