China’s Political Prisoners

China’s lack of privately owned media companies and repressive control of journalists translates to a grim reality: that of a censored state in which journalists are subject to being jailed for criticizing the government.

Whether writing about rampant corruption, Tibet or human rights, these journalists are accused of “posing a threat” to national security.

Secret trials and forced confessions lead to imprisonment, and President Xi’s recent new sanctions on social media (e.g., widespread deletion of comments and messages) have only strengthened what some call the “Great Firewall of China.”

Banners created by Chinese human rights activists have been installed on the façade of the Newseum, which CEO Jeffrey Herbst has said reflects the institution’s mission to promote free expression both domestically and around the world. Overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue, the display calls on the Chinese government to end censorship and release dissidents jailed for simply expressing their views or religious faith.

An exhibit outside the Newseum features photos of journalists and dissidents currently imprisoned by China’s government. The display expresses the Newseum’s hope that one day, the voices of these men and women will not be muted.

The representative group of 30 prisoners held in Chinese jails includes:


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