China to Journos: Cover Protests, Lose Your Visa

Activists, lawyers disappear amid 'Jasmine Revolution' demonstrations
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 4, 2011 9:11 AM CST
Students from Hong Kong and Macau shout slogans at a protest rally to support "the Jasmine Revolution," the name given to the Tunisian protest movement, in China on the square of Chiang Kai-shek memorial...   (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
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(Newser) – As Beijing moves to prevent Middle East-style protests from taking hold in China, officials are issuing a warning to foreign reporters: If you cover the protests, you may lose your visa. Police demanded interviews with dozens of journalists this week after they tried to report on Sunday's “Jasmine Revolution” demonstrations, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

A "common theme" emerged from those interviews, with journalists saying they were warned that they’ve “broken Chinese regulations, officials know about it, and the journalist will face consequences if he or she does it again. Those consequences include being arrested or detained until the visa or work permit is canceled,” said a foreign correspondents’ group. Meanwhile, many human rights activists and key lawyers have been detained or even disappeared in recent days, and the word “jasmine” has been censored on some sites.

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