Monday, March 17, 2008

Foreign journalists in China demand access to Tibet

Agence France-Presse
First Posted 21:22:00 03/17/2008

BEIJING -- Foreign journalists in China on Monday demanded that the government allow access to report on the events in Tibet where deadly anti-China protests have erupted over Beijing's rule of the region.

"The Foreign Correspondents Club of China urges the Chinese government to immediately allow correspondents into Tibetan areas for news coverage," the club said in a statement.

Two dozen reporters have been turned away from or forced to leave Tibetan areas since social unrest erupted last week, including from Lhasa, Tibet's regional capital, and Xiahe in Gansu province, it said.

Interfering in press coverage and denying foreign correspondents access to Tibet violated the spirit of regulations issued last year that gave overseas journalist the right to interview all consenting organizations and individuals without government approval, it said.

The temporary regulations were implemented only for the period up to and during the Beijing Olympics and have been cited as part of greater media freedoms in China ahead of the Games.

"Reporting interference is not in the interest of the Chinese government, which is trying to show a more open, transparent and accountable image to the world," club president Melinda Liu said.

"The interference in reporting activities is not in keeping with the temporary Olympic period reporting regulations, and is especially not in keeping with the international community's expectations of an Olympic host nation."

China faced mounting global pressure over Tibet on Monday amid claims from Tibetan exiles that hundreds of people may have died in a crackdown on the protests, even though Beijing denied using deadly force.

No comments: