Journalists’ family detained in China

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) criticises the Xinjiang authorities who recently persecuted the family of a Uyghur journalist who was working for the US Congress-funded Radio Free Asia. According to reports, Shawket and Rehim, brothers of journalist Shohret Hoshur, have been detained by Xinjiang authorities since August 2014. Hoshur said that his two brothers were not politically active and worked on businesses in Urumqi. He said that he believe his brothers that they were been detained due to his work as a journalist and reporting on sensitive topics in Xinjiang. In recent days, the two brothers were charged with endanger state security and the case will be heard on July 1. Hoshur said that prior to the detention of his two brothers, his other brother Tudaxun was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of state security. According to IFJ’s <st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region> press freedom report, CHINA'S MEDIA WARA: Censorship, Corruption & Control, online media and all traditional media including television and newspaper in Xinjiang are strictly controlled by the local authority. They act as a mouth piece of the local government. Online social media is heavily censored and as a result local people face large strong punishments if they use it to disseminate information, particularly if the information is labelled as ‘sensitive’. The IFJ Asia-Pacific office said “Persecuting the families of journalists is an attempt to intimidate and silence the media. The control of the Chinese government over media and press freedom in the country is intensifying, which is illustrated in Xinjiang over the past 12 months.” We urge Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, High Commissioner for Human Rights in UN to deploy a special rapporteur to China to investigate human rights violations in Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mongolia.   

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