Sun Lin

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Six patients, front, who have recovered from the H7N9 strain of bird flu pose for photographs with doctors and nurses before being discharged from a hospital in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province on April 27. (Reuters/China Daily)

Almost two months have passed since President Xi Jinping took office. Despite expectations for greater transparency, Beijing continues to try to suppress information on a broad range of issues from human rights to public health.

136 journalists jailed worldwide

As of December 1, 2009    |   » Read the accompanying report: "FREELANCERS UNDER FIRE"

In the year of the “One World, One Dream” Olympics, China’s punitive and highly restrictive press policies became a global issue. International reporters who arrived early to prepare for the Games flocked to cover antigovernment riots in Tibet and western provinces in March and the Sichuan earthquake in May. They encountered the sweeping official interference that resident journalists have long faced every day. Domestic news media, which by law must be sponsored by official government bodies, generally followed the government line on Tibetan and Olympic issues, although some newspapers and magazines distinguished themselves with breaking coverage of the earthquake and investigative reporting on local government corruption. Online writers who published more outspoken pieces were jailed on antistate charges.

Journalists in prison as of December 1, 2008

Read the accompanying report: "Online and in jail"

New York, July 8, 2008—One month before the start of the Beijing Olympics, China needs to make enormous progress to ensure the free access it promised journalists when the Games were awarded, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Twenty-six Chinese journalists remain in prison and heavy government censorship remains in place despite Beijing's broad assurances—made in its 2001 bid to host the event—that journalists would be given “complete freedom” during the Olympics.

New York, July 1, 2008--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the four-year prison sentence handed down to Nanjing journalist Sun Lin, who was charged with possessing illegal weapons and assembling a disorderly crowd. Sun's sentence was delivered on Thursday in a hearing closed to his lawyers and family, according to The Associated Press.  

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In a year of internal political wrangling and further emergence on the global stage, Chinese leadership under President Hu Jintao showed a keen awareness of public opinion at home and abroad. But the result was not greater freedom for the press. The administration undertook a clumsy effort to woo the foreign press corps while simultaneously tightening control over the flow of information and commentary within China.
Detailed accounts of each imprisoned journalist.
New York, June 4, 2007—A Nanjing-based reporter whose online video, audio, and written news reports had angered authorities is in police custody today along with his wife, according to his employer at the U.S.-based news Web site Boxun News. Following the May 30 arrest, police accused Sun Lin (known by his pen name Jie Mu) of illegally possessing weapons and heading a criminal gang.

"We are terribly concerned about the well-being of reporter Sun Lin and his wife He Fang," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "The documented harassment of Sun for his reporting makes us exceedingly skeptical of the criminal charges now lodged against him."

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