DHARAMSHALA: A BBC journalist said his crew was detained, chased and threatened by Chinese police when they were in Ngaba in northeastern Tibet trying to report about self-immolation incidents in the region. (Watch video)
BBC’s Damian Grammaticas said “there is a massive mobilisation of security forces in the Tibetan areas”.
He said Ngaba, the Tibetan area that he and his crew tried to enter, was cordoned off.
“So the police held us there for 9 hours. They try to force us to sign a document promising that we will not attempt to enter Tibet again. When we refused, they threatened us that within two days our visas could be cancelled, and we could be expelled from the country,”Damian said.
The BBC crew says it faced similar restrictions when try to get into other Tibetan areas. “To reach Tibetan areas, we flew higher close to the roof of the world. China says the self-immolations are terrorism, but it wants to keep its crackdown secret. Four policemen followed us all the way around this village and one of them has been into our taxi. Police warn Tibetans not to talk to us and watched us everywhere. The police moved in and seized the Tibetan villager who just moved up to talk to us and hustled him away. As we left the police chased, detained us again trying to get us to handover what we had filmed,” Damian said.
“Even if China is trying to keep its repression hidden from view, the Tibetan grievances are seem to be growing,” he said.
Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay has urged the international media, including those working in China, to make more efforts to go to Tibet and objectively report why the Tibetans are self-immolating. “If the world media cannot go to Tibet, we never know what else is happening inside Tibetan areas, and how many more Tibetans are being killed and dying,” Dr Sangay said on 8 February.