China accuses western media of fake news about human rights
China has launched a Donald Trump-style attack on foreign media, branding claims that a leading human rights lawyer was tortured by government agents fake news.
Xinhua, the government’s official news agency, accused the overseas media of “hyping” a series of “cleverly orchestrated lies” by publishing reports about the plight of attorney Xie Yang, who was detained in July 2015 at the start of a crackdown known as China’s war on law.
Reports about Xie’s alleged torture by security agents surfaced on overseas human rights websites late last year. More detailed accounts of similar claims subsequently appeared in newspapers including the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and Japan’s Asahi Shimbun.
Experts said the allegations, while impossible to verify, were consistent with abuses previously documented by human rights groups.
On Thursday, however, China’s Communist party-controlled media launched unusually pointed criticism over the claims that Xie had been abused, directing its ire against four articles published by overseas websites focused on human rights in October and November 2016.
Xinhua’s English-language rebuttal of those torture allegations said: “The stories were essentially fake news.”
It alleged the reports had been “entirely fabricated” by Jiang Tianyong, another prominent human rights lawyer who disappeared last November after being seized by police.
Xinhua claimed an independent team had been sent to investigate claims of Xie’s mistreatment and concluded the “so-called torture did not happen”.
Its reporters, who were given access to both detained men, claimed Xie said he was in good physical condition and was being treated well by prison guards who were giving him nine hours’ sleep each day and “decent food”.
The Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper claimed Jiang had encouraged Xie’s wife, Chen Guiqiu, to invent the torture claims.
everyone is playing the “fake news” game now..
“It alleged the reports had been “entirely fabricated” by Jiang Tianyong, another prominent human rights lawyer who disappeared last November after being seized by police.”