China's Forbidden Zones: Shutting the Media out of Tibet and other “Sensitive” Stories

China’s Forbidden Zones

Shutting the Media out of Tibet and Other “Sensitive” Stories

Related Material

Download PDF file of
Summary and Recommendations
(7 pages, 88 kb )

Download PDF file of report
(71 pages, 472 kb )
Download PDF of report with cover
(73 pages, 705 kb )

Summary and Recommendations available in:chinese

Purchase a printed version of this report

More on Human Rights Watch's work on China

More on Human Rights Watch's work on Press Freedom

Map of China and Tibet

I.    Summary

Key Recommendations


II.   Background: Longstanding Media Freedom Constraints in China

Constraints on Media Freedom

Government Promises of Media Freedom for the Olympics

Assessment of Media Freedom since August 2007

III.  Threats to Deny Olympics Accreditation and Ongoing Violations of the Temporary Regulations

Ongoing Violations of the Temporary Regulations

IV.  Silencing the Sources: Intimidation of Chinese Interviewees

V.   The Closure of Tibet

The March 2008 Protests in Tibetan Areas

Expulsion of Journalists from Lhasa

Obstacles for Journalists Trying to Reach Tibetan Areas

Government-Orchestrated Tours for Journalists to Tibetan Areas

The Government’s Propaganda Offensive and its Consequences for Foreign Journalists

Threats Against Foreign Correspondents in China

VI.  Other Foreign Media Forbidden Zones


Protests and Demonstrations


VII. Recommendations

To the Chinese Government

To the International Olympic Committee

To National Governments Sending Olympic Teams to the 2008 Beijing Olympics

To International News Organizations Planning to Cover the 2008 Beijing Olympics



July 2008    ISBN: 1-56432-357-9