China's War Against One American Journalist

For Slate, I looked at the case of Shohret Hoshur, an American journalist with Radio Free Asia. Chinese authorities have begun disappearing Shohret's family in response to his reportage out of Xinjiang - the first case, near as anyone can tell, of a foreign state targeting the family of a reporter who maintains American, and only American, citizenship:

While reporters with dual citizenship have sometimes been targeted, this is the first time Beijing has attempted such a move against the family of a reporter with sole U.S. citizenship. “I’m not aware of any other cases in which the [Chinese] government has arrested the family of an American reporter,” says Maya Wang, a China specialist at Human Rights Watch. Added Bob Dietz, Asia program coordinator at Committee to Protect Journalists, “No one can recall another case like this in China. … The lengths they’re going to is an indicator of just how seriously they view the threat” in Xinjiang. ...

Tudaxun’s arrest last year was the first time Shohret’s family was targeted. A Xinjiang police officer told Shohret during a phone interview soon after his brother’s arrest that his family could be “terminated.” Then, in August, Shohret’s younger brother, Rexim Hoshur, disappeared after leaving his house. A few hours later, Shohret’s other brother, Shawket Hoshur, vanished after a visit to the local state security office. As with Tudaxun, Chinese officials claim both brothers are guilty of “leaking state secrets.” According to Shawket’s wife, local government officials have said Shohret’s siblings will be released only if he quits his job at Radio Free Asia. “There is no doubt in my mind that this is an attempt to obtain my silence,” says Shohret. “Chinese authorities have made it very clear, through interactions with my family leading up to the detentions, arrests, and imprisonment of my brothers, that they are targeting me.”