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ATJ observes World Press Freedom Day in Dharamsala

May 4, 2009

Association of Tibetan Journalists.
May 3, 2009

Press Release
May 3, 2009

Dharamsala -- Association of Tibetan journalists
join the voice against suppression of freedom of
press on the World Press Freedom Day.

The Association of Tibetan journalists calls on
the governments of the world, especially those
countries where freedom of press is suppressed,
to respect freedom of press and freedom of speech in their countries.

Reports from Tibet and China of Beijing's
crackdown on the media clearly show the extent to
which a government can go in shutting up
journalists who often become the victims of government atrocities.

Association of Tibetan Journalists (ATJ)
considers this day significant for those whose
voices are muted to serve the governments’ vested interests.

According to the Paris-based World Association of
Newspapers (WAN), 673 journalists were arrested,
70 killed and 125 jailed worldwide as of 1st
December 2008. China ranked among world's worst
countries against press freedom in Freedom
House's Report released on May 1. The Association
of Tibetan Journalists, therefore, call on world
leaders of respective countries and China in
particular, to release all those journalists
imprisoned and stop committing crimes against the media.

In the year 2008, Konchok Tsephel, proprietor of
Choemey Website; Dhondup Wangchen who made the
film "Leaving Fear Behind"; Kunga Tsangyang, a
well known writer-photographer; Khawei Tsesok
editor Drokru Tsultrim, were arrested in 2008 and
their whereabouts are still unknown. However, ATJ
welcomes the recent release from jail of Golok
Jigme, arrested for assisting filmmaker Dhondup
Wangchen. Rangjung from Seda TV was arrested in
September 2008 and released soon after. We
welcome the releases decisions and urge the
government of People’s Republic of China to release more Tibetans.

ATJ strongly feels the need to examine the
situation in Tibet at this stage. Despite the
claims by China that situation in Tibet is normal
reports of undeclared martial law and an
atmosphere of constant fear gripping the region
continue to emerge out. Tashi Wangchuk, President
of ATJ said, "We are ready to visit the Tibetan
areas to observe the situation independently and
we expressed our willingness to do so. So far, we
have received no response from Chinese government."

"If the claims made by the Chinese government of
Tibetans enjoying the ‘economic boom’ ‘cultural
and religious freedom’ in Tibet it should allow
independent international media into Tibet," he added.

Contact:
Tashi Wangchuk, President, ATJ at +91 94180 54685 (for Tibetan/ Hindi/ English)

Dhondup Tashi, Vice-President, ATJ at +91 94187 97503 (for Tibetan)

Gurbum Gyal, PRO, ATJ at +91 98161 63986 (for Chinese language)

Email: atj@ibiblio.org
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