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YouTube blocked in China; official says video fake

March 26, 2009

By Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press
March 25, 2009

BEIJING -- A video that appears to show police
fatally beating a Tibetan protester was a fake
concocted by supporters of the Dalai Lama, China
said Tuesday -- the same day the video-sharing
network YouTube said its service had been blocked in China.

The video has been posted on YouTube in recent days.

A spokesman for Google, which owns YouTube, said
he couldn't comment on the Chinese government's reason for the block.

"We are looking into it and working to ensure
that the service is restored as soon as
possible," spokesman Scott Rubin said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

China occasionally blocks YouTube to prevent
access to videos that criticize or shine an
unflattering light on its policies. Users in
Beijing said they were unable to access the site late Tuesday.

The official Xinhua News Agency, citing an
unidentified official with China's Tibetan
regional government, reported Tuesday that the
video came from sources tied to the
government-in-exile of the Dalai Lama, the
Tibetan spiritual leader, and was pieced together from different places.

The Xinhua report said the footage purported to
show a person named Tendar being beaten to death
by police after a riot in Lhasa, the Tibet
region's capital, on March 14 last year. Xinhua
said the person was not in fact Tendar and the wounds shown were fake.

"The Dalai Lama group is used to fabricating lies
to deceive the international community and the
aim of this video is to hide the truth of the
March 14th riot," Xinhua quoted the official as saying.

The government did not directly address whether
YouTube had been blocked. When asked, Foreign
Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters: "Many
people have a false impression that the Chinese
government fears the Internet. In fact it is just the opposite."

Users in Beijing said they were unable to access the site late Tuesday.

Security in China's Tibetan areas has been
tightened in recent weeks because of sensitive
anniversaries this month. March 14 marked the
one-year anniversary of anti-government riots in
Lhasa, Tibet's regional capital, while March 17
marked 50 years since the Dalai Lama escaped into
exile in India after Chinese troops crushed a Tibetan uprising.

Armed police have been patrolling a Tibetan
community in northwest China following reports
that six people were arrested after a crowd of
hundreds — including Buddhist monks — attacked a
police station over the weekend.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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