Security men grab video at Tibetan group's screening

TERESA POOLE

Peking

Angry delegates at the women's world forum near Peking fought off an attempt by Chinese security officials to seize a video shown by a small group of exiled Tibetan women yesterday.

Nine Tibetan women who managed to obtain entry visas to China held a workshop where they showed a video about three generations of Tibetan women. The video included criticisms of China's family planning policies and was watched by about 50 people in a packed, windowless room within the official site of the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Forum at Huairou, outside Peking.

As the video finished, a plain-clothes security official and a hotel worker entered the room, squeezed through the audience and grabbed the tape from the machine. The angry organisers and delegates locked the door and there was scuffling as the cornered Chinese tried to escape. Amid shouting, the video was snatched back by the audience and quickly passed from hand to hand to the rear of the room, hidden in someone's bag, and smuggled out.

The issue of Tibet is even more sensitive than usual to the Chinese authorities because of today's 30th anniversary celebrations in Lhasa of the founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region, establishing formal Chinese rule. Lhasa is under tight security for the staged festivities, for which 270 senior Chinese officials have been flown into the city.

A spokeswoman for the Tibetan Women's Delegation said nine exiled Tibetans had managed to obtain visas for the forum, but that at least 17 others around the world were banned.

Phuntsok Dolma, a member of the delegation, said: "Our mission is to be a voice for Tibetan women in Tibet and in exile." She said that since their arrival in China, the group had been "followed everywhere". Plainclothes policemen with cameras and video-cameras had recorded all their movements and exchanges. Asked about the celebrations in Lhasa, Ms Dolma said: "It's such an insult."

Under UN rules, there should be freedom of expression within the site. Supatra Masdit, the forum convener, said she would "look into" surveillance of the Tibetans.

She confirmed that by Wednesday night, only 17,000 NGO delegates had arrived, less than half the 36,000 originally registered for the forum. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs admitted that 4,000 delegates to the NGO Forum and the UN World Conference on Women, starting Monday, have not yet received entry permits.

The two meetings, held every 10 years, seek to address the biggest problems facing women, including discrimination, sexual abuse, education and health.

Yesterday, the first plenary session was launched with a video speech by Aung San Suu Kyi, the recently released Burmese opposition leader.

As the first plenary session started, Amnesty International, the London- based human rights group, unfurled a "clothes line" of 12 T-shirts, each with a face of a woman who has been persecuted in her country. One was Chinese.

Later, Amnesty delegates carried posters of the women to a screening of a video on five human-rights victims. Two testimonies were from Tibetans, a nun, Tsultrim Dolma, and a labour organiser, Lu Jinghua. Security officials filmed and taped the second Amnesty demonstration, but withdrew when the screening began.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Arts and Entertainment
books New York Times slammed over summer reading list
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine