With less than six months to go before the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the Chinese government has sparked condemnation from press groups and human rights organizations for its recent crackdown on Tibetan protesters.
"Journalists, as I understand it now, are largely restricted from going into Tibet," said Ashley Esarey, a professor at Middlebury College who focuses on Chinese politics and media freedom. "This leads to concerns that human rights violations are being commitment that cannot be investigated. Or worse, that people have been killed by government troops or killed by Tibetan rioters and the media isn’t allowed to get to the bottom of things."
In response to the press restrictions, Reporters Without Borders today called for a boycott of the Aug. 8 Opening Ceremony, noting in a statement: "China has not kept any of the promises it made in 2001 when it was chosen to host these Olympics. Instead, the government is crushing the Tibetan protests and is imposing a news blackout."
The Committee to Protect Journalists also criticized the restrictions.