China expels French Journalist on terrorism claims

China said Saturday that it will not renew press credentials for a French journalist, effectively expelling her following a harsh media campaign against her for questioning the official line equating ethnic violence in China's western Muslim region with global terrorism.

Expecting the move, Ursula Gauthier, a longtime journalist for the French news magazine L'Obs, said late Friday night that she was prepared to leave China.

Once she departs on Dec. 31, she will become the first foreign journalist forced to leave China since 2012, when American Melissa Chan, then working for Al Jazeera in Beijing, was expelled.

"They want a public apology for things that I have not written," Gauthier said. "They are accusing me of writing things that I have not written."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that Gauthier was no longer "suitable" to be allowed to work in China because she had supported "terrorism and cruel acts" that killed civilians and refused to apologize for her words.

"China has always protected the legal rights of foreign media and foreign correspondents to report within the country, but China does not tolerate the freedom to embolden terrorism," Lu said in a statement.

View galleryFrench journalist Ursula Gauthier, a reporter for the … French journalist Ursula Gauthier, a reporter for the French news magazine L'Obs, holds a statem … Gauthier on Saturday called the accusations "absurd," and said that emboldening terrorism is morally and legally wrong. "I should be legally persecuted if that's the case," she said.

"All this is rhetoric," Gauthier said. "It's only meant to deter foreign correspondents in the future in Beijing."

AP

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2 thoughts on “China expels French Journalist on terrorism claims

  • December 27, 2015 at 3:01 pm
    Permalink

    I do support freedom of speech and the non-violence principle in resolving differences.

    But it is a KNOWN FACT that the Western media have a tendency to DOWNPLAY violence committed by Uighurs inside China (with support and instigation from Uighur groups outside China) against the Han Chinese, and at the same time EXAGGERATE the Chinese government’s at times strong arm tactics against these groups. I can understand that this is a natural human tendency to lean toward those who we perceive to be the weaker party, but this is not an acceptable excuse to sacrifice justice for personal preferences.

    If the Western media journalists can concretely show that they condemn EQUALLY and AS STRONGLY violence committed by Uighurs as well as similar acts by the Chinese, then and only then, these journalists can be trusted as truly professional. Otherwise, as biased journalists, they don’t have my approval and the Chinese government has every right to expel biased journalists like Ursula Gauthier.

    If Ursula Gauthier wants to support the Uighurs cause, she should have the courage to openly state so and work as an advocate for that cause and not as a journalist. It is very disingenuous to hide one’s true colour behind the mask of a journalist while her true intent is to be an advocate.

    She would have my respect if she has the courage to discard her journalist disguise and present her true face of an advocate. Otherwise, shame on her.

    Reply
    • December 27, 2015 at 4:26 pm
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      on point analysis

      Reply

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