BEIJING — A German man has learned the hard way that practicing journalism in China, even for a class project, can lead to serious trouble.

David Missal, 24, was pursuing a master’s degree in journalism and communication at prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing. He left for Germany Sunday after immigration authorities told him his student visa was canceled and he had a week to leave China, and said that evening that he had landed in Duesseldorf.

Missal said he thinks that’s because he reported on the plight of jailed human rights lawyers in a journalism class. Missal said a Tsinghua representative this year warned him twice against pursuing the politically sensitive subject, but he went ahead anyway because he wanted to “get to learn Chinese society and politics.”

China questioned, detained and in some cases formally arrested around 300 people nationwide starting from July 9, 2015, as part of its biggest crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists. Several received lengthy sentences for subversion of state power while a few still await sentencing.

Missal said his work was never published beyond his personal blog and YouTube, which he thinks was seen by less than 100 people.

Tsinghua’s propaganda office said it could not immediately comment.

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