Restrictions on information and communication across the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) means that residents there are virtually cut off from independent news and have access only to government propaganda, a global rights group claimed on Friday.
Tight control on information is accompanied by almost paranoid limitations on Tibetans travelling to the region from other parts of the country, Human Rights Watch said in a statement.Nearly 40 Tibetans have self-immolated since last year to protest against China.
Quoting official news sources and interviews of senior officials, the New York-based group said: "The measures (to control information) involve significantly increased controls, particularly in the TAR, on internet use, text messages, phone ownership, music publishing, and photocopying, as well as intensified government propaganda through new TV channels, village education sessions, film showings, and distribution of books."
HRW added that controls on travel from inland provinces into the TAR have also been tightened significantly since March 2012, with new limitations on travel into the TAR by monks, nuns, and lay Tibetans from outside the TAR. "Additional restrictions on travel by foreigners were introduced in May 2012 and again in early June."
Travel restrictions were tightened after two Tibetans from Sichuan and Gansu self-immolated in Lhasa on May 27.