Bloomberg News said it was unable to contact its Chinese staff member who was reportedly being released on bail by the Chinese regime five months ago.
Fan Haze, a Chinese staff member at Bloomberg’s Beijing bureau, was taken away by plainclothes police from her home in Beijing allegedly on suspicion of endangering national security. The agency said that Fan was last seen on Dec. 7, 2020.
Bloomberg said on June 14 that it had only learned of Fan’s release over the weekend through a statement from the Chinese embassy. But the company has been unable to contact Fan.
In the statement dated May 5, the Chinese embassy in Washington claimed Fan is on bail pending trial since January. Fan is still under investigation, it added.
Haze Fan, a member of Bloomberg News’s bureau in Beijing, was released on bail in January, according to the Chinese embassy in Washington, more than a year after she was detained on suspicion of national security law violations https://t.co/t7iy1jJbFy
— Bloomberg (@business) June 14, 2022
Fan was among at least 120 journalists detained by the Chinese regime, according to an estimate by Reporters Without Borders in December. The Paris-based organization said in its latest annual report that the communist regime views journalism as a state propaganda tool, rather than as a conduit for providing information for the public.
Journalist groups have also warned that the regime has stepped up intimidation, harassment, and lawsuits against them. The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) said in its report published in January that foreign journalists face “unprecedented hurdles covering China.”
Fan, a Chinese citizen, was escorted from her apartment by plainclothes national security officials after she was last in contact with one of her editors. She was formally arrested in July 2021.
In December, the company said that it had no information forthcoming on its staff’s case after a year of her detention.
The Chinese embassy’s announcement of Fan’s release was in response to a May 2 advert published by The Washington Post for World Press Freedom Day, which featured Fan.
On Tuesday, John Micklethwait, Bloomberg’s editor in chief, said they’re “encouraged that Haze is out on bail.”
“She is a much valued member of our Beijing bureau–and we will continue to do everything possible to help her and her family.”
Fan began working with Bloomberg in 2017. Previously, she had worked for Reuters, CNBC, CBS News, and Al Jazeera. Chinese nationals are not allowed to do independent reporting for foreign news agencies in the country and can only work as news assistants.
#China: Five months after her alleged release, Haze Fan of Bloomberg News (@business) clearly remains under heavy surveillance. Authorities must immediately drop any pending charges against Fan and release Fan’s friend and @CGTNOfficial anchor Cheng Lei.https://t.co/uAfYQ9bOmi
— CPJ Asia (@CPJAsia) June 14, 2022
The Committee to Protect Journalists said on Twitter that the Chinese regime “must immediately drop any pending charges” against Fan and called on the release of Cheng Lei, an Australian journalist that was working for the state broadcaster’s international arm CGTV. Cheng has been detained since August 2020 and was tried in secret at Beijing’s Second Intermediate Court in March.
From The Epoch Times