Former editor of Beijing News detained in China

Dai Zigeng, the former editor-in-chief of state media group Beijing News, was detained earlier this month for allegedly committing "serious violations of disciple and law", according to China’s Communist Party discipline commission. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly crticises the authority’s attempt to stifle freedom of expression.

Detained former editor-in-chief Dai Zigeng. Credit: RSF

On Monday June 10, the Central Discipline Inspection Commission of the Communist Party of China disclosed that Dai was undergoing a disciplinary review and investigation, however it did not offer any details on his alleged wrongdoings. Dai was working as the general manager and vice chairman of Beijing Cultural Investment Development Group, a state owned investment and management services company, prior to his detention.

In 2003 Dai helped found Beijing News, one of China’s leading news outlets, and continued to work there until 2017 when he was appointed to his current position. During his time there, the publication gained its reputation of investigative journalism that dared to speak the truth.

Dai made headlines in 2013 after threatening to resign from Beijing News in support for The Southern Weekly, a publication that protested against government censorship.

According to news reports, Dai’s arrest is part of President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign and an effort to remove the leader’s political enemies.

The IFJ said: “We call on the Communist Party of China to release information regarding the ongoing detention of Dai Zigeng. The authorities must end the crackdown on freedom of expression and speech in China, and cannot use detention as a tool of intimidation to silence critics. We call for any charges against Dai to be dropped immediately.”

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