A senior Australian government minister gave a warning to the foreign journalists on Sunday regarding that they might come under the scrutiny of federal agencies if they provide information that portrays a “slanted view” of the issues of the country.
Petter Dutton, Home Affairs Minister spoke about the issue during a television interview pointing out particularly to the journalists working for “a particular community”.
Though Peter didn’t exactly refer to China, his talking about the issue comes post the clearance of of Australian journalists Bill Birtles and Mike Smith from China last week who resided in Australian diplomatic compounds after police inquiry. Australian Cheng Lei, a business anchor for China’s English language state broadcaster was put into police custody.
Dutton spoke to ABC TV, “If people are here as journalists and they’re reporting fairly on the news, then that’s fine..” He emphasized that reporters should not provide “a slanted view to a particular community.”
Peter Dutton told, “If people are masquerading as journalists or business leaders or whoever they might be and there’s evidence that they are acting in a contrary nature to Australian law, then ASIO and the Australian Federal Police and other agencies will act.” Peter mentioned that there is no proof regarding the action taken by Australian agencies that can put Australian journalists at risk in China. Referring to the matter pertaining to Cheng Lei, he answered, “We want to work very closely with the Chinese in relation to that matter and we’ll continue to do that.”