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China Blocks YouTube

March 24, 2009

Following accusations that Dalai Lama supporters fabricated a video showing Chinese military beating a Tibetan protester to death, China has now blocked all access to the popular video-sharing website You Tube.  This action is not unusual for China, which has been named an enemy of the internet by press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders.  However, it continues to show a disturbing trend by Beijing to censor and oppress by any means possible.  The international community had hoped that the presence of the Olympic Games in China in 2008 would open a dialogue regarding fundamental liberties, including freedom of the press.   However, the opposite effect was the case with China failing to follow through on promises to allow more access and transparency and, in some cases, ramping up its repressive efforts.  As recently as last week, South Africa refused a visa to the Dalai Lama to attend a Peace Forum in order to stay on good terms with China, a major trading partner for the African nation.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.