Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 google plus Instagram YouTube Monday, Dec. 28, 2015

Commentary: Press freedom no excuse for advocating terrorism

(Xinhua)    17:00, December 28, 2015

BEIJING, Dec. 28 -- For French reporter Ursula Gauthier, her days in China are literately numbered: she will have to leave the country before the end of the year after refusing to apologize for a misleading report on China, which is saturated with sympathy for terrorists in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

In her article published on Nov. 18, only five days after the heinous Paris terror attacks that claimed more than 130 human lives, Gauthier questioned China's "ulterior motives" in expressing solidarity with France after the attacks.

The article ignored basic facts and described a recent bloody terror attack in Xinjiang as a revolt against alleged "ruthless government oppression."

If Gauthier had bothered to have a closer look of the bloodshed, she would have found that it has all the elements of a terror attack: the attackers butchered dozens of innocent people before ambushing police officers coming to the rescue. And there is evidence they had contacted foreign extremist groups and got operational instructions before launching the attack.

Such a carefully planned, highly coordinated mass killing of innocent people is an act of terrorism, no matter in which part of the world.

Whether Gauthier admits or not, her fact-distorting article equates to justifying terror attacks in Xinjiang, and that is something very welcomed by terror plotters inside China, and possibly in other parts of the world.

The article is as immoral as it it sensational: by falsely describing certain ethnic groups in Xinjiang as the oppressed, the article may also incite hatred and confrontation between different ethnic groups in China.

Gauthier may be too proud to retract her problematic report or to apologize, but it seems she is definitely glad to make her de facto expulsion from China as an affront to press freedom.

However, it is worth noting that even press freedom has its limits and citing press freedom as defense for a deeply biased and potentially dangerous report is not at all convincing.

There will be further restrictions for media when conducting terror-related reports, according to China's first anti-terror law promulgated Sunday.

The various restrictions intend to prevent copy-cat crimes, protect frontline anti-terror workers and keep society from the harm of hearsay.

It is for the common good that foreign media outlets in China as well as domestic media organizations comply with these regulations and make their due contribution to the global fight against terror.

And it is also advisable for Western media groups to abandon double standards when reporting terror-related stories, so as to change the impression that they think lives lost at the hands of terrorists in the West are more valuable than those in other parts of the world.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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