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WAN Protests Against Press Crackdown In Tibet

WAN Protests Against Press Crackdown in Tibet

The World Association of Newspapers and World Editors Forum have protested to Chinese President Hu Jintao against the crackdown on coverage of events in Tibet and the banning of foreign media, in violation of international agreements, Chinese law and China's Olympic promises.

In a letter to President Hu, the Paris-based WAN and WEF cited China's pledges that foreign media would have ³complete freedom to report when they come to China", and that "in the preparation for the Games, we will be open in every aspect to the rest of the country and the whole world." China's Olympic Committee made the pledges in its successful bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

The letter asked Mr Hu to uphold these pledges, as well as new regulations introduced last year to allow greater freedom of movement and access for foreign journalists. It called on him to end censorship of the disturbances in Tibet and respect the right of domestic and foreign media to gather and disseminate information.

Since the disturbances erupted on 12 March, authorities have refused to grant foreign correspondents permits to enter Tibet and at least 25 journalists have been expelled. Journalists have been prevented from working freely and more than 40 serious violations of the rights of foreign journalists have been reported. Foreign television broadcasts within China have been cut, internet news sites have been inaccessible, radio broadcasts have been jammed, and Chinese video sharing platforms have had all news of the violent events deleted.

Read the full letter to President Hu at http://www.wan-press.org/article16744.html

WAN and other press freedom organisations are holding a conference in Paris on 18-19 April on the press freedom situation on China in the run-up to the Olympics. Full details can be found at http://www.beijing2008conference.com/home.php

WAN has also organised an international campaign calling on the Chinese government -- the world's biggest jailer of journalists -- to uphold its promises of reform and release all jailed journalists. Details of the campaign can be found at http://www.wan-press.org/china/home.php

ENDS

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