China shuts down Al Jazeera

Featured - May 9th, 2012
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An American journalist working for Al Jazeera’s network in Beijing has been expelled from the country after Chinese officials refused to renew her accreditation. Melissa Chan has been the network’s sole correspondent in China since 2007 forcing the network to shut down its operation. Hong Lei, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that Chan’s visa was not renewed because she violated the government’s rules on reporting. He did not provide further details as to what specific laws were broken. The case highlights the growing tensions between China and the international press. The Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Beijing called the case “the most extreme example of a recent pattern of using journalist visas in an attempt to censor and intimidate foreign correspondents in China”. Recent international media coverage on China’s social and political problems sparked criticism from authorities. Chan is said to be the first foreign correspondent to be denied of renewing her reporting privileges.