Chinese authorities have arranged a trip to Tibet from March 26-28 for a small group of international media. This brief, tightly managed trip falls far short of fulfilling China’s promise, made during its bid for the 2008 Olympic Games, of free media reporting.
The FCCC calls on the Chinese government to allow all other foreign correspondents who wish to report in Tibet, and Tibetan areas in other provinces, to be permitted to do so at the earliest possible date — and to enable them to work and travel without government interference.
We also urge Chinese authorities to allow the foreign media group that departed for Tibet March 26 unfettered freedom to report, and to safeguard the Constitutional right of free expression for Chinese nationals who agree to be interviewed. We are extremely concerned about recent reports that sources in Tibetan areas and elsewhere have experienced various forms of intimidation.
Following unrest in Lhasa and other Tibetan communities, foreign correspondents have notified the FCCC of more than 40 violations — nearly all by local officials — of the Olympics-period foreign media reporting regulations which began Jan. 1, 2007. Although official efforts to assist journalists who’ve encountered interference are appreciated, we call on Chinese authorities to improve implementation of the new regulations as quickly as possible.