Foreign journalists reporting the aftermath of floods in central Henan have been harassed by a group of anger that has been encouraged by the Communist Party office.
Foreign journalists working in international media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, BBC, Deutsche Welle, and AFP have been harassed while reporting on the aftermath of the flood.
Last week, 12 million people in the city were hit by heavy rain for three days. This corresponds to the average annual rainfall. One-third of the rain fell on the afternoon of July 20th.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has censored information about floods and restricted foreigners acting for non-state media in disaster reports. The CCP warned Chinese netizens and locals not to spread “rumors” about floods.
As an example of threats to foreign journalists, Matthias Boellinger, who works for German news outlets including Deutsche Welle, and Alice Sue of the Los Angeles Times faced during an interview in Zhengzhou on Saturday.
They were filmed, questioned, and accused of writing a story that “slandered” the Chinese administration. video It was distributed on both Chinese and international social media.
Long thread: yesterday @aliceysu I was in Zhengzhou when I was surrounded by angry mobs. 1/11 pic.twitter.com/goGDlzx7iU
— Mathias Boelinger (@mare_porter) July 25, 2021
Two women, who identify themselves as employees of the local media, approached them and one began filming them. The crowd gathered quickly, Boelinger said on Twitter.
“They kept shouting that I was a bad guy and should stop polluting China. A man was tied up to steal my phone,” he added.
He said many of the people who threatened him thought he was the BBC’s Chinese correspondent Robin Brandt. Many of them calmed down when he explained that they weren’t.
“What I didn’t know at the time was that a man hunt was going on later. [Robin Brant] There is a malicious campaign against … [BBC News] In nationalist circles and state media, “Boelinger tweeted.
Sue Said She tried to exacerbate the situation by translating the crowd’s message, but people were angry and shouted, “Get out of China.”
Then I also started shooting. Then she called another person. I think there were about 10 middle-aged men.They showed me a photo @robindbrant And did you keep asking? After that, things escalated rapidly. 6/11 pic.twitter.com/GInNKPuCK5
— Mathias Boelinger (@mare_porter) July 25, 2021
The video of the incident on Saturday was widely disseminated on Weibo, but most of the comments were abusive and threatening. Some even posted personal information about journalists.
Administration’s mouthpiece Global Times Release A Sunday article stating that such an incident would further help the Western media “dirt” the administration. It called on the public to find smarter ways to “pay” Western journalists.
Henan Communist Youth League on Chinese social media Weibo I was asked People stalk Brandt and report his whereabouts on Saturday.
A BBC reporter was accused of being a “gossip alien” and “severely distorting the facts” in his report on the flood.
A few days ago, Brandt Release Chinese BBC video report on the flooded subway in Zhengzhou. A video shared online showed that train passengers were trapped in water to the depth of their neck, drowning or suffocating.
It is believed that at least 14 people died in the subway subway.
“Why did the station on this line in the underground subway system, less than a decade old, get overwhelmed by rainwater and kill passengers on the platform?” He asked.
His video report was a source of anger among some people in China.
Brandt said, but leaders Xi Jinping’s China added that seeking the improvement of early warning system of the transport network, coverage of submerged passengers were contrary to the Chinese Communist Party propaganda line.
The hostility experienced by Brant, Boellinger, and Sue has become commonplace for foreign journalists in China.
According to the Chinese Foreign Correspondents Club (FCCC), other correspondents report Similar experience in Zhengzhou during this disaster.
The Associated Press journalist was suspended and reported to police for filming. French outlet AFP was forced to remove footage after being surrounded by dozens of men while reporting on a submerged highway tunnel.
The Al Jazeera crew was tracked and filmed while reporting outside the flooded subway station.
Tuesday BBC issued A statement calling on the Chinese administration to immediately stop encouraging attacks on foreign journalists.
The BBC is calling for immediate action by the Chinese government to thwart attacks on journalists reportedly about the floods in Henan. pic.twitter.com/gQsRM0svKR
— BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) July 27, 2021
The FCCC also denounces the role that Communist states have played in curbing press freedom.
“Rhetoric from an organization belonging to China’s ruling Communist Party directly jeopardizes the physical safety of foreign journalists in China and hinders free press,” the FCCC said. twitter on Tuesday.