An international human rights group says the Chinese government
continues to threaten and block foreign journalists in the run-up to
the Beijing Olympics.
In a new report, Human Rights Watch says
correspondents in China face severe difficulties in accessing forbidden
areas and covering topics that the Chinese government considers
The report cites examples of how journalists were
barred from Tibet and other Tibetan areas in the wake of unrest there
in March. It also documents how foreign reporters and their sources
have faced intimidation or are barred from covering stories that would
embarrass authorities, or tell more about incidents of social unrest.
The report's release Monday comes a day before China opens its main press center for the August games.
About 25,000 journalists are expected to cover the Beijing Games.
group's report is based on more than 60 interviews with correspondents
in China between December, 2007 and June of this year.
report says China's foreign ministry has declined to investigate death
threats made against more than 10 correspondents in March and April of
this year, following the unrest in Tibet.
It also says
authorities have threatened to revoke media organizations'
accreditation to the Olympics if they report on events that could
embarrass the Chinese government.
Human Rights Watch Asia
Advocacy Director Sophie Richardson says that with such restraints in
place, the Chinese government is limiting the ability of journalists to
objectively report on the complex realities of modern China.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.