China refuses to renew French journalist’s credentials

Beijing, Dec 26 (IANS) China has refused to renew the credentials of a French journalist over her comments on terrorism, a foreign ministry official said on Saturday.

Spokesman Lu Kang said Ursula Gauthier, a Beijing-based correspondent for French news magazine L’Obs, had offended Chinese people with an article published on November 18 in which she overtly voiced support for terrorist activities, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the article, she blamed government policy in Xinjiang Uygur region for terrorist attacks.

Lu said Gauthier failed to apologise for her wrong words and it is no longer suitable for her to work in China.

Gauthier’s article triggered widespread condemnation from Beijing and a campaign in the state-run Global Times and China Daily, as well as thousands of often violent and abusive comments from Chinese internet users. Her photo was also published online.

China ensures the legal rights of foreign media organisations and journalists covering China stories, but will never tolerate the “freedom” of speaking for terrorism, said the spokesman.

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