merican Reporter Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian had been looking forward to taking up her “dream job” as a foreign correspondent in Beijing with Agence France Presse, however, Beijing has had other ideas.
Several months after applying for a journalist visa, the AFP was told that it would have to find a different candidate to fill the position, Allen-Ebrahimian said toBuzzfeed.
As a freelance journalist based in Washington, DC, Allen-Ebrahimian focused on investigative stories about the ways in which China was extending its influence abroad. She believes it is this groundbreaking work that now has her barred from reporting in China.
With working for the AFP in Beijing no longer an option, Allen-Ebrahimian is now looking for a new job.
China has refused to process my application for a journalist visa. I believe this indicates a further attack on information, as China reduces access for investigative journalists.
Also–I'm now looking for a new job, since I can't take up my Beijing posthttps://t.co/AF1QV9HUi6
— B. Allen-Ebrahimian (@BethanyAllenEbr) June 18, 2019
“I first learned of this news one month ago, and it’s taken me about a month to get a place where I’m not just crying all the time” she wrote on Facebook. “I’ve dedicated 15 years — my entire adult life — to this country that I love. The prospect of never being able to return, or at least not for a very long time, is heart breaking for me. It’s a long grieving process that won’t be over any time soon.”
Considering the focus of Allen-Ebrahimian’s work, the move is hardly surprising. China has long used its control over j-visas to banish reporters that it does not like.
She joins the likes of Paul Mooney, who was denied a journalist visa in 2013, Ursula Gauthier, who was unable to renew her journalist visa in 2015, and Megha Rajagopalan, who ran into similar visa trouble in 2018.
It’s not yet clear where Allen-Ebrahimian will end up next, but, in the meantime, you can read through stories in her archive like: