RFA Condemns China's Barring of Journalist

Radio Free Asia (RFA) today criticized the Chinese government's apparent denial of an entry visa to an Olympic-credentialed RFA broadcaster and called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to press Beijing to honor its pledge to hold the Games in an atmosphere of openness.


“Twenty-four hours before the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing, RFA hasn’t received an entry permit for our Tibetan service broadcaster, U.S. citizen Dhondup Gonsar. We deplore this stonewalling by the Chinese authorities,” RFA president Libby Liu said.
“Withholding media credentials and visas is standard practice by governments hostile to free expression, which is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We urge the Chinese government to show the world it no longer fears uncensored media in local languages, as is fitting for an emerging world power and Olympics host,” Liu said.
“We call on the Chinese government to immediately issue Mr. Gonsar’s Olympic entry permit, and on IOC President Jacques Rogge to demand, in the spirit of free and fair competition that the Games embody, that Mr. Gonsar be permitted to cover the Olympic Games,” Liu said in a statement.
She noted that RFA has complied fully and promptly with all requirements to obtain media accreditation.
Gonsar, a journalist for RFA’s Tibetan-language service, was one of two RFA reporters to receive non-broadcast media credentials from the IOC to attend and cover the Olympic Games in Beijing. Olympic officials have said Gonsar’s accreditation will be conveyed only after the Chinese Foreign Ministry forwards it to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).  


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