Chinese police are further intensifying pressure on foreign reporters, warning them to stay away from spots designated for Middle East-inspired protests and threatening them with expulsion or a revoking of their credentials.
The warnings show how unnerved the authorities are by the online calls for protests every Sunday. The appeals, which started two weeks ago, have attracted few outright demonstrators but many onlookers, loads of journalists and swarms of police.
Staff from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and numerous other overseas news organizations were called in for videotaped meetings with Beijing police Wednesday and Thursday and told that reporters trying to film or interview near the proposed demonstration spots in Beijing or Shanghai this weekend would be punished.
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China said in a statement that some journalists reported being accused by police “of trying to help stir up a revolution, disrupt harmony in China and simply cause trouble.”
The warnings ratchet up notices from police earlier this week that put a section of the Wangfujing shopping street in downtown Beijing and an area near People’s Square in Shanghai off limits for foreign media.
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