Where’s Chen? This has been the question for a month now for the family of Chinese freelance journalist Chen Qiushi, who was arrested on 6 February 2020 for covering the coronavirus crisis in the city of Wuhan. Reporters Without Borders condemns the Chinese authorities’ attitude.
The coronavirus has already killed thousands of people, yet the Chinese authorities continue to manage this epidemic crisis in China in an opaque manner,” Reporters Without Borders said. The regime is censoring information on the subject and has turned the screws on social networks where some journalists have ventured to publish independent reports on the suffering of the population or the inadequacy of the government’s response to the virus. Many journalists have disappeared, been arrested or silenced. This is the case of freelance journalist Chen Qiushi who was arrested on 6 February 2020 and has since been reported missing by his family.
Since then, he’s been nowhere to be found. Like Chen, many journalists and whistleblowers have disappeared, been arrested or silenced by the Chinese authorities. Their crime? Publishing information about the coronavirus epidemic in China, especially about hospitals overloaded with patients, the suffering of the population or the inadequacy of the Chinese government’s response to the virus.
The coronavirus has already killed thousands of people, yet the Beijing regime persists in censoring certain information about the epidemic and in managing this now global crisis in a totally opaque and bureaucratic manner! Such censorship is clearly counterproductive in the fight against an epidemic and can only contribute to its aggravation, or even its transformation into a pandemic.
RWB calls on the Chinese authorities to provide news of journalist Chen Qiushi, who has been missing for a month, and to immediately release the detained journalists and whistleblowers. Our organisation also calls on Beijing to let the press do its news work without risk of arrest, forced quarantine or total disappearance.