Expression

There are no independent news sources in China which members of the public can easily access, and the state or the CCP control the majority of media outlets. The state strictly regulates critical content and prevents anything that may harm its image from being published. Any mention of anti-government sentiment, the deaths of activists, corruption cases or extreme violence are censored or severely punished, even when accidental. Chinese journalists who do not follow these regulations risk imprisonment, torture or dismissal. Foreign journalists inside the country are also at high risk of expulsion, physical harm and raids if they publish reports critical of the state. Religious expression is also carefully controlled. The state has imposed restrictions on religious attire, beards, and fasting during the month of Ramadan. Although approximately half of Chinese people have Internet access, online expression is seriously restricted in China, through the ‘Great Firewall’, the removal of hundreds of thousands of Internet posts per year and the closure of thousands of users’ Internet accounts. The authorities have also recently announced the formation of a panel of 3,000 volunteer Internet monitors, whose job is to act as the state’s ‘eyes and ears’ online.