A press group accused China regarding its freedom rights as it alleged the country that it is using the deadly Covid-19 as “yet another way to control journalists.” The media group has alleged the Asian country that it has imposed extra restrictions and surveillance in the nation and as a reason for its tightened security it citing the coronavirus.

In its annual report, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) said, “China has used the pandemic as yet another way to control journalists.” Although the Chinese city, Wuhan was the actual epicenter of the coronavirus, the number of positive cases significantly declined to almost zero. However, the media group claims that the capital of China, Beijing is still promoting an official narrative for saving itself from the responsibility of the public health disaster which has killed millions of lives around the world.

The media group further stated, “As China’s propaganda machine struggled to regain control of the narrative around this public health disaster, foreign press outlets were repeatedly obstructed in their attempts to cover the pandemic.” Also, it has claimed that China has been continuously using Covid restrictions as a manner to block access to media and threaten journalists. They also alleged that several times journalists have been “forced to abandon reporting trips after being told to leave or be quarantined”.

Nearly 42 percent of respondents said that in the recent past, they have been denied access or asked to leave a place, citing safety and health restrictions, even though the reporters could see no such risk. As per the FCCC, coronavirus checkpoints and contact tracing apps have been created by the Beijing authorities, which have “created additional opportunities for Chinese authorities to gather data and surveil foreign journalists and their sources”.

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