US condemns 'harassment' of foreign journalists in China

"The foreign journalists were illegally detained, harassed, their equipment seized and at least in one case severely beaten," State Department Spokesman P J Crowley said.

"We are deeply concerned that the Chinese authorities did not protect the safety and property of these journalists, and we expect them to hold the perpetrators accountable," he told reporters.

The US views had been communicated to Chinese officials, Crowley added.

The US Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, yesterday met with several American and other foreign journalists in China who were allegedly harassed while reporting in downtown Beijing.

Huntsman also spoke to his counterparts within the Chinese foreign ministry, Crowley said.

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