Al-Jazeera TV reporter Melissa Chan is expelled from China in media crackdown
Wednesday 09 May 2012
Al-Jazeera's sole English-language reporter in China has been expelled, the pan-Arab news network said yesterday, marking the first time since 1998 that Beijing has kicked out an accredited foreign journalist.
Melissa Chan's expulsion is seen as China's latest attempt to punish international media whose reports the authoritarian government dislike and see as besmirching its global image. The move "seems to be taking China's anti-media policies to a new level," Bob Dietz, the Asia coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said in a statement.
The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera said in a statement that it had no choice but to close its English-language service's bureau because Ms Chan's press credentials and visa were not extended.
Ms Chan is a US citizen who worked for the network in China for five years. She had reported extensively on sensitive topics such as illegal seizures of farmland and the imprisonment of petitioners from the countryside in unofficial "black jails".
Al-Jazeera said no permission to replace Ms Chan was given and its requests for additional visas for correspondents had gone unanswered. The expulsion does not have an impact on Al-Jazeera's Arabic-language service, which maintains several accredited journalists in Beijing.
Foreign reporters in China often experience harassment, surveillance and visa problems when government officials are angry at their reports.
Over the weekend, police called in about a dozen foreign reporters, threatening to revoke their visas for allegedly breaking rules in reporting the case of the blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng by entering the car park of the hospital where he is receiving medical care.
Al-Jazeera did not say if any reason was given for expelling Ms Chan. Hong Lei, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, refused to say why her accreditation was not renewed.
Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
South Korea ferry passengers who were told to stay put 'got trapped' aboard sinking ship
Are beards attractive? Ryan Gosling says yes, but science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge and find out who's right
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence witness 'unqualified' to testify
Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Big Bang Theory to get special Star Wars episode with help from Lucasfilm
- 3 Babies cry at night to stop mothers procreating, scientists claim
- 4 Pharrell Williams 'Happy': British Muslims dance to song in video
- 5 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
£26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...
£25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: As part of an ongoing effort to support local...