The Epoch Times

March 23, 2009 10:01 ET

The Epoch Times: Parliamentarians Meeting With Chinese Delegation on Tibet Asked to Raise Chinese Consul's Expulsion of Reporters From Toronto Press Event

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 23, 2009) - NTDTV and The Epoch Times are asking parliamentarians who will meet today with official Chinese delegates representing Tibet to remind them of Canada's standards for press freedom. The meeting is scheduled to take place on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

On Friday, the acting Chinese consul general in Toronto barred and removed journalists carrying valid invitations from a press event at a downtown Toronto hotel that was held for the visiting Chinese National People's Congress Tibetan Delegation. The acting consul, Mr. Kun Lu, snatched a media invitation from an NTDTV reporter and ordered hotel security to "take her away."

Organizers also ordered the police and security to escort a reporter from The Epoch Times off hotel property after he attempted to photograph an organizer apparently removing a Tibetan journalist from the event. The Epoch Times reporter also carried a valid invitation and had been granted access to the event. The Chinese consulate had sent an invitation to the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, which both NTDTV and Epoch Times are part of. The reporters had replied by email in advance to confirm their plan to attend the event, as the invitation had requested.

Video of the incident is available upon request. An article describing the event has been published here:

"The Chinese authorities are exporting their media control to Canada," warned Joe Wang, president of NTDTV (Canada). "This is a challenge to media freedom in Canada. Our parliamentarians should remind the regime that in Canada we have standards for press freedom."

"Leave it to the Chinese regime to expel a reporter from a press conference for taking a photo," said Cindy Gu, publisher of the Epoch Times. "This speaks to the regime's paranoia of free press and its instinct to try and control it. It has clearly been trying to muzzle NTDTV and The Epoch Times."

This month marks the first anniversary of the crackdown in Tibet in March 2008 and the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama's exile from Tibet. The delegation is scheduled to tell Canadian parliamentarians on Monday that under the communist rule, Tibetans are enjoying great freedom and prosperity.

Senator Consiglio Di Nino, co-chair of the Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, who will be meeting the delegation on Monday stated that the Chinese officials' activities at the press event on Friday were "totally unacceptable." "I can only assume that the Chinese Consulate wants to control the message, and this is also totally unacceptable by Canadian standards."

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