Tibet: Press Freedom

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 21st April 2008.

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Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Liberal Democrat, East Dunbartonshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on reporting restrictions placed on foreign journalists in Tibet; and what representations he has made to the government of the People's Republic of China on the matter.

Photo of Meg Munn Meg Munn Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

holding answer 3 April 2008

Foreign journalists, along with all other foreigners, are currently only able to travel to Tibet after acquiring a time-limited entry permit from the Chinese authorities. Applications by journalists for these permits have often been refused in the past. A recent exception to this was the one-day tour of Lhasa organised by the Chinese Ministry for Foreign Affairs for a select group of foreign correspondents on 26 March. We continue to urge the Chinese authorities to allow free media access to Tibet. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister did so in his telephone call to Chinese Premier Wen on 19 March. The group of diplomats, including a representative from our embassy in Beijing, which visited Lhasa on 28 and 29 March, also raised the issue of free access for journalists with the Chairman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

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