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China expels French journalist after accusing her of 'supporting terrorism'

The reporter has to leave the country by the end of 2015

Will Grice
Saturday 26 December 2015 18:25 GMT
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Ursula Gauthier, the Beijing-based correspondent for French news magazine L'Obs
Ursula Gauthier, the Beijing-based correspondent for French news magazine L'Obs (Getty)

A French journalist has been told she must leave China after publishing an article that criticised Beijing’s policy towards Muslim Uighers in Xinjiang.

Ursula Gauthier of the French news outlet L’Obs has been told her press credentials would not be renewed by the Chinese government.

The article Ms Gauthier published said that Xinjiang supported “terrorism and cruel acts”, according to the BBC.

Since publishing the article Ms Gauthier has claimed the country is trying to deter foreign reporters, and has revealed that if her press credentials are not renewed she will not be able to apply for a new Chinese visa.

Ms Gauthier published the article after the Paris attacks, suggesting China wanted to ally with France in order to help quell the country’s Muslim population in Xinjiang.

Since then the Chinese government told Ms Gauthier she would have to leave the country by 31 December, with a Chinese government spokesperson telling the BBC that Ms Gauthier’s article “supported terrorism”.

"I said I never supported terrorism - how do you want me to apologise for something I have not written?" Ms Gauthier told the BBC.

"I am convinced that they are very clearly trying to intimidate foreign press in China because they don't want anyone to say things which are different from the official version of the question."

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