As of Monday, YouTube is unavailable in China, an unexplained move apparently made in response to the existence of a video of Chinese soldiers beating Tibetan monks, says the BBC.
Leslie Harris, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, responded that:
China's actions fail to live up to international norms. China's apparent blocking of YouTube is at odds with the rule of law and the right to freedom of expression. Anytime a country limits or takes down content online , it must be forthright and specific about its actions and do so only in narrowly defined circumstances consistent with international human rights and the rule of law.
Google declined to criticize China, saying only: "We don't know the reason for the block and are working to restore access to users in China as quickly as possible," in the words of spokesperson Scott Rubin. The Committee to Protect Journalists criticized the move, calling on China to explain itself and remove the block immediately.
We are deeply concerned that millions of Chinese Internet users have been deprived of an important information resource without being told why," CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney said. "The blocking of YouTube is a sign of escalating restrictions on media freedom that we have witnessed this month in China. Authorities must explain why YouTube is inaccessible."
Freedom of opinion and expression is a human right and guarantor of human dignity. The right to freedom of opinion and expression includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Broad public access to information and the freedom to create and communicate ideas online are critical to the advancement of knowledge, economic opportunity, and human potential.The video of the attacks on the monks was graphic and brutal, according to the BBC's report.
The graphic video was released by Tibetan exiles and showed hundreds of uniformed Chinese troops swarming through a Tibetan monastery. It included footage of a group of troops beating a man with batons.Without acknowledging any action, China said it was acting legally.
In another scene a group of men, including a monk, were beaten, kicked and choked, while they lay on the ground. Some had their hands tied and appeared to be unconscious.
The date and locations of the film have not been confirmed.
We encourage the active use of the internet but also manage the internet according to law.