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Australia fails to justify raid on 4 Chinese journalists: Chinese FM

Australia has not given a reasonable explanation for why it raided the residences of four Chinese journalists in June and still not returned all the journalists' seized items, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

Australian intelligence agents raided the residences of four Chinese journalists in late June, citing a possible violation of Australia's anti-foreign interference legislation. The four journalists were from three Chinese media organizations - the Xinhua News Agency, China Media Group and China News Service, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry said at Wednesday's media briefing.

The agents questioned them, seized their computers and smartphones, and even seized their children's tablet computers and electronic toys, Zhao said.

So far, Australia has not given any reasonable explanation and have not returned all the items seized from the journalists, Zhao said.

Zhao said the Chinese journalists involved have returned to China.

The Australian government's actions seriously interfered with the normal reporting activities of Chinese media outlets in Australia, grossly violated the legitimate reporting rights of Chinese journalists in Australia, caused serious damage to the physical and mental health of journalists and their families, and fully exposed the hypocrisy of Australia in the so-called press freedom and its claimed respect and protection of human rights, Zhao said.

China demanded that Australia immediately stop its barbaric and unreasonable acts, stop harassing and cracking down on Chinese nationals in Australia under any excuses and ensure the safety and legitimate rights of Chinese citizens, Zhao said.

Global Times

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