Radio Free Asia Voice Denied Chinese Visa

Dhondup Gonzar has not received entry permit one day before Opening Ceremonies of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Radio Free Asia said the Chinese government denied an entry visa to one of its broadcasters who is credentialed to cover the Olympic Games.

RFA said its Tibetan-service broadcaster and U.S. citizen, Dhondup Gonzar, had not received an entry permit the day before the Opening Ceremonies -- some Olympic events, like early rounds of soccer, have already begun.

“Withholding media credentials and visas is standard practice by governments hostile to free expression, which is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," RFA president Libby Liu said in a statement. "We urge the Chinese government to show the world that it no longer fears uncensored media in local languages, as is fitting for an emerging world power and Olympics host."

She also called on the U.S. Olympic Committee to pressure the Chinese government to come through with the permit. "We deplore this stonewalling by the Chinese authorities," she said.

Radio Free Asia is funded by a grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the independent federal agency that oversees U.S. government and government-sponsored nonmilitary broadcasting internationally.