Police stopped correspondents from Britain’s ITV News at a toll both an hour outside of the monastery town of Xiahe, Gansu province, took details from their passports, and told them to leave.
A plainclothes policeman filmed the reporters. Authorities also recorded the driver’s license and license plate of the Lanzhou taxi driver, who “was terrified,” said ITV correspondent John Ray. “The only explanation we were given was there was ‘trouble ahead’. When we pressed them, we were told the road was damaged.”
On their way back to Lanzhou the journalists were pulled over at another toll booth and once again asked for their passports. “No explanation was offered; nor could they reconcile the road block with the Olympic regulations concerning foreign journalists,” said Ray. “We tried to film them, but were shooed away.”
After returning to Beijing, the ITV journalists were manhandled off a university campus where Tibetan students were holding a candlelit vigil, and people they believe to be plainclothes police photographed them.