Beijing: Al-Jazeera's sole English-language reporter in China has been expelled, the pan-Arab news network said on Tuesday. It's the first time since 1998 that Beijing has kicked out an accredited foreign journalist.
Melissa Chan's expulsion is seen as a hardening of China's attitude toward international media it views as a threat to the authoritarian government's authority and 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.
Qatar-based Al-Jazeera said in a statement that it had no choice but to close its English-language service's bureau because Chan's press credentials and visa were not extended. 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 Chan was given and its requests for additional visas for correspondents had gone unanswered. The expulsion does not impact Al-Jazeera's Arabic-language service, which maintains several accredited journalists in its Beijing bureau....more
10:49 AM, May 08, 2012