Chinese authorities have long targeted Radio Free Asia Uyghur Service journalist Shohret Hoshur for his coverage of sensitive issues in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Last year, Shohret’s three brothers were jailed for “violating state security laws” and allegedly “leaking state secrets” after discussing the sentencing of one of the brothers in a phone call with Shohret. In early January, after being briefed by RFA about the situation, CPJ published a blog entry about the case, which prompted The Washington Post and news wires (AP, AFP, and Reuters) to also file reports. The case has also been mentioned in recent editorials responding to attacks on media freedoms around the world.
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, at a Jan. 8 press briefing, said, “We urge Chinese authorities to cease harassment of [Shohret Hoshur’s] family and to treat them fairly and with dignity. We continually urge China to respect internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression.” RFA’s reporter has been contacted by officers from State Department to discuss his case. China publically responded and dismissed the allegations.