China Control of Media Visit to Tibet Limits Coverage

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns China’s continuing restrictions on media coverage of issues related to the Olympics and Tibet, after limits were placed on what could be reported about the relay of the Olympic torch through Tibet at the weekend.


Several foreign journalists reported to the IFJ that their movements were tightly controlled. After the torch relay had finished at an open public area in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, on June 21, authorities would not permit the journalists to leave promptly. No reason was given, the journalists said.


A scheduled media visit to Lhasa’s Jokhang Monastery, which was badly damaged during civil unrest on March 14, was cancelled suddenly without explanation on June 22, the journalists said. The monastery in Barkhor Square is listed as a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site.


The media visit to Lhasa, involving about 50 foreign journalists, was the second such visit organised by authorities since protests against Beijing’s rule erupted in Lhasa and elsewhere in March.


Foreign journalists are forbidden to enter the region independently.


“The controls on media reporting from Tibet are contrary to internationally accepted standards of press freedom and rights,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.


“Once again, China’s authorities have stage-managed reporting related to the Olympics and Tibet. In so doing, they break China’s promise – made in 2001 when Beijing won the right to host the Games – to respect and uphold media rights and freedom in China.”


For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents over 600,000 in 122 countries worldwide