Crackdown in Tibet intensifies; CNN crew detained
[30 January] As the Chinese government continues to send troops into Tibet in an effort to clamp down on protests, a CNN crew has been refused entry to a Tibetan area of Sichuan province, subsequently detained and had film footage confiscated.
Security has been increased throughout Tibet following a series of protests last week. Sources say that troops have been sent into Serthar, Drango and Dzamthang areas where the protests occurred. Barma town in Dzamthang county is reported to be surrounded by police and armed soldiers with no-one being allowed to leave, whilst strict military conditions have been imposed in Serthar and Drango.
The crackdown has spread beyond the areas of last week's protest. The Chinese authorities are reported to have sent "working groups" to every village and monastery in Kardze and Ngaba. Troops are patrolling Tibetan neighbourhoods in Chengdu and the security presence has increased in Lhasa, with reports of arbitrary house searches.
Last week, a CNN crew was detained by the Chinese authorities after trying to enter a Tibetan region in Sichuan province to report on the current conditions.
The media team encountered a police roadblock and were denied entry to the Tibetan area, being told they were being turned back 'for their own safety'. They were then followed and intimidated by Chinese security personnel. In Chengdu the team witnessed the increasing police presence in Tibetan neighbourhoods, saying it felt like a "lockdown". They also interviewed Tibetans who said they are under constant surveillance and regularly harassed by police and security personnel.
The CNN crew were detained and questioned for five hours at Chengdu airport and had some of their video footage confiscated before being released.
Further reading: CNN I RFA (29 Jan) I RFA (27 Jan) I NY Times
CNN's video report (3 min 30 secs)
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