Thursday, April 2, 2009
The Association of Tibetan journalists (ATJ) today called on the government of the People’s Republic of China to allow independent journalists to visit Tibet.Xinhua reported on March 29 that China will open Tibet to foreigners in April, 2009. "We hope that China will also allow Tibetan journalists from overseas and the foreign journalists to do independent reporting in Tibet including the areas that have witnessed sporadic protests since March 2008.”Tashi Wangchuk, president of the ATJ, said that China has allowed only a handful of journalists to Tibet under some strictly monitored tours since last March when Tibet reeled under heavy military crackdown following protests across the plateau which has been virtually under martial law since then."Through strict control on telephone, internet and cellular services China tries to block the flow of information to the outside world. Yet, stories of brutalities, protests and arrests reach the outside world through undisclosed channels. It is difficult to obtain information and verify them.”Tibetan journalists in exile condemned China’s recent censorship of video sharing network YouTube which carried video footages of police beating unarmed Tibetans.The Tibetan journalists’ group also condemned the arrests of Kunga Tsangyang, Golok Jigme, Kunchok Tsephel, Dhodup Wangchen, Jamyang Kyi and many others, who have just exercised their literary freedom through blogs, poems, articles, essays etc. ATJ demands their immediate release.