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China 15 April 2003

Reporters Without Borders website blocked

Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) today deplored as a blow to free expression a decision by the Chinese authorities to block access to the organisation’s website and called for the immediate lifting of the ban, which may have been imposed because of a press release on the site about the extended imprisonment of cyber-dissident Liu Di. Internet users reported on 14 April that the site,, was inaccessible in China.

The Chinese authorities systematically block access to websites containing "dangerous or subversive" material. A survey done by Harvard University’s Berkam Center between last May and November showed that more than 50,000 of 204,000 sites sought through the Google and Yahoo! were inaccessible at least once from at least one place inside China.

Apart from openly pornographic sites, the main ones blocked were those about Tibet, Taiwan and democracy. More than 60 per cent of the Tibet sites and more than 47 per cent of the Taiwan sites listed by Google were blocked.

Last October, the following websites were still inaccessible in China: (Human Rights Watch in China), (Human Rights Watch),,, (Amnesty International), (the organisation Freetibet), (the Tibetan government in exile), (the US TV network CNN), (the BBC), (the US daily the Washington Post), (the site of cyber-dissident Huang Qi) and (the dissident online paper VIP Reference).

In this country
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
All references to Tiananmen Square massacre closely censored for 20 years
12 May - China
Foreign reporters prevented from working in Sichuan a year after earthquake
24 April - China
Concern that detained Tibetan magazine editor is being tortured
25 March - China
Government blocks access to YouTube

in the annual report
China - Annual report 2008
China - Annual report 2007
China - Annual report 2006

4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election

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Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised
29 May - Sri Lanka
Journalists trying to cover fate of Tamils are threatened, obstructed