Why a New York Times tech reporter was followed in China
Paul Mozur, a tech reporter for The New York Times in China, writes about how he was tracked by that country’s authorities while traveling for a story.
Mozur writes, “When I was wide awake, my followers were by turns menacing and buffoonish. There were seven of them, and they took down the information of anyone I spoke to, making it too dangerous to interview residents. The police stopped me many times a day at checkpoints, demanding to look through my phone and often deleting photos and videos. At times, angry officials turned me around and prohibited me from visiting certain areas.
“They stayed in the hotel room across the hall from mine. The smell of their cigarettes wafted through the air ducts. They kept close as I walked down alleyways. One day I took them nearly 19 miles without stopping for food. The next day they showed up with a bike. When a sandstorm hit and I stayed out, they bought face masks and kept up. They’d linger at the urinals during bathroom pit stops, waiting for me.
“All of this is nothing compared to what Uighurs in Xinjiang face each day. Over the past two years, the Chinese authorities have locked up in re-education camps hundreds of thousands of Uighurs, a Turkic Muslim minority whose separate culture and sometimes violent resistance to Chinese rule have long unsettled Beijing. Those not locked up live in a world of constant surveillance.”
Read more here.