Statsadministrationen i Folkerepublikken Kina er bekymret for mig. De holder af mig. De vil nødig se, at der sker noget med mig.
Den 1. januar i år vedtog Kina en lov, der gav udenlandske journalister lov til at rejse overalt i Kina, og som også gav journalisterne lov til frit at interviewe kinesere. Hvis man ville til Tibet, skulle man dog først have en tilladelse, men det var blot en formssag. Indtil nu.
Tidligere på ugen søgte jeg officielt om at få lov til at rejse til Tibet. Den gik ikke. Det var ikke sådan, at de sagde “ansøgning afvist”. Derimod sagde de, at det var en meget ubekvem og besværlig rejse. For eksempel kunne jeg støde på vejblokader, og derfor ville busser og biler været meget forsinkede. Samtidig var det på grund af situationen i Tibet, ikke sikkert at rejse der.
De journalister, der så er taget afsted mod Gansu, Sichuan og Tibet, er blevet forhindret i deres arbejde. Foreign Correspondents Club of China (FCCC) sendte tidligere på ugen dette åbne brev til det kinesiske udenrigsministerium:
“Reporting interference is not in the interest of the Chinese government which is trying to show a more open, transparent and accountable image to the world,” said FCCC President Melinda Liu.”
The FCCC has been informed of two dozen reporters who have been turned away from or forced to leave Tibetan areas, including Lhasa, in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and Shahe in Gansu province. Some reporters have been told they were being barred due to police action. Government censorship of the internet and international television broadcasts is also hampering journalists.
“The interference in reporting activities is not in keeping with the temporary Olympic period reporting regulations, and is especially not in keeping with the international community’s expectations of an Olympic host nation,” said Liu.
When Beijing was bidding for the Olympics in 2001, Wang Wei, Secretary General of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG), promised to give international media “complete freedom to report when they come to China.”
Indtil videre er de stødt på 30 sager, hvor journalister er blevet chikanerede. For eksempel:
XIAHE, GANSU PROVINCE: POLICE DETAIN TV CREW, THREATEN TO CONFISCATE TV FOOTAGE
MAR. 17, 2008– Police detained a Finnish Broadcasting Co.
correspondent and cameraman outside the monastery town of
Xiahe and threatened to confiscate their footage. The team
arrived in Xiahe on March 15, and was trying to leave when
law enforcement officers brought them to the police
station. The police insisted they had a right to view the
correspondents’ footage because the reporters had been in
a forbidden area during a police operation. The police
said they would confiscate any sensitive material. “We
declined to show the footage and said that Prime Minister
Wen Jiabao has said that foreign journalists have the
right to report freely. They said ‘You don’t want to know
what will happen if you don’t show us the footage,” said
correspondent Katri Makkonen. The journalists showed the
police one tape. After 90 minutes, the reporters left with
the tape they showed to the police as well as the ones
they managed to hide.
LINXIA, GANSU PROVINCE: POLICE TURN AWAY REPORTER DUE TO “POLICE ACTION”
Mar. 17, 2008– Police turned back a reporter from
Britain’s The Guardian after he drove over a mountain pass
to enter an area where protests had taken place near the
border between Sichuan and Gansu. Reporter Jonathan Watts
said an English-speaking officer told him “There is a
police action taking place. Foreigners are not allowed
inside. These are the orders of high authority.” He said a
Foreign Ministry official told a colleague: “When there is
some emergency, the local authority has the power to set
up prohibited areas for outsiders. This is for the
stability and unity of that province and this country.”
XIAHE, GANSU PROVINCE: TV TEAM TURNED AWAY DUE TO “TROUBLE AHEAD”
MAR. 16, 2008– Police stopped correspondents from
Britain’s ITV News at a toll both an hour
outside of the monastery town Xiahe, 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.
CHENGDU, SICHUAN PROVINCE: POLICE BAR FILMING IN TIBETAN
MAR. 16, 2008– Police barred a television crew from ABC
News of the U.S. from filming in a Tibetan neighborhood.
When the reporters informed police of the Olympic rule
allowing foreign reporters to travel and interview anyone
who consents, Stephanie Sy says police “simply shrugged
and hailed us a taxi.”
XIAHE, GANSU PROVINCE: POLICE TURN AWAY, TAIL REPORTER
MAR. 16, 2008– Police turned back a correspondent for
U.S. National Public Radio who was seeking to reach Xiahe.
The correspondent was first stopped at a checkpoint about
50 kilometers outside of Lanzhou. The reporter took a back
road, and was turned back again at a checkpoint 20
kilometers outside of Xiahe. Louisa Lim’s car was followed
by a police car for about 100 kilometers. Then a black
sedan tailed her for about 300 kilometers, until she had
almost reached the airport.