The case of Minnie Chan, a prominent reporter for the South China Morning Post (SCMP), has sparked increasing interest and concern within the journalistic community.
Chan, renowned for her coverage of defense and diplomacy in China, recently became the focus of inquiries after friends and colleagues raised alarms about her whereabouts following her reporting on the Xiangshan Forum in Beijing, a three-day international security conference that concluded on October 31.
According to statements from the SCMP in response to inquiries from various news outlets, Chan is currently on personal leave, addressing the mounting concerns surrounding her sudden unavailability.
Friends of the journalist had initially approached Kyodo News, expressing worries about her well-being and reporting that she had become unreachable after her coverage of the forum.
In an email communication with the Voice of America (VOA), the SCMP stated that Chan’s family had confirmed her presence in Beijing but emphasized that she needed time to handle a private matter.
The family assured the newspaper that Chan was safe and requested respect for her privacy during this period. The SCMP pledged ongoing communication with Chan’s family and expressed its commitment to providing the necessary support they might require. The newspaper also reiterated its dedication to the safety of its journalists, highlighting it as a matter of utmost importance.
Colleagues of Minnie Chan at the SCMP, as reported by The Guardian, have also raised questions about her whereabouts, further intensifying the concerns surrounding her disappearance. Some had even speculated that she might be under investigation by Chinese authorities. The Chinese Embassy in Washington, however, responded to VOA’s inquiries by stating that it had no specific information on Chan’s case.
Minnie Chan, who has been a reporter at the SCMP for nearly two decades, previously worked for Hong Kong’s now-closed Apple Daily newspaper, known for its pro-democracy stance. The closure of Apple Daily in 2021 and the subsequent imprisonment of its founder, Jimmy Lai, on widely perceived retaliatory charges have raised concerns about press freedom in Hong Kong.
Chan’s journalistic endeavors have garnered her recognition and awards, making her a prominent figure in the media landscape. Her latest piece, covering China’s response to the Israel-Hamas war, was published on November 1, providing a time reference for her recent activities.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based international press freedom watchdog, issued a statement expressing deep concern about Chan’s case. The organization urged Chinese authorities to disclose her location and ensure her safety, emphasizing the importance of transparency and protection for journalists.
As the mystery surrounding Minnie Chan’s situation deepens, the international media community, human rights advocates, and press freedom organizations continue to monitor developments closely, hoping for a swift resolution and the assurance of her well-being.
The case serves as a reminder of the challenges journalists face, particularly those reporting in regions where press freedom is a delicate and contentious issue.