China Says Video of Tortured Tibetans is Fake

The Chinese government says an Internet video that appears to show police beating Tibetan prisoners is a fake.

China's condemnation comes as the owners of YouTube acknowledge that the popular video-sharing Web site is blocked inside China.

The official Xinhua news agency Tuesday quoted an official in China's Tibet Autonomous Region as saying the video released by the Indian-based Tibetan government-in-exile is fake. That unnamed Chinese official said Tendar, a man shown in the video with what appear to be severe wounds, died at home from a disease and not as a result of police beatings.

The Chinese official said Tendar attacked police with a knife last year during a riot and was awaiting trial at the time of his death.

The video was released last week and excerpts have been posted on YouTube. The U.S.-based site's owners, Google, confirmed Tuesday that the site is blocked in China. A spokesman said the company is working to restore the service.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, told reporters in Beijing Tuesday that many people incorrectly assume that Beijing fears the Internet. Qin did not say why YouTube is inaccessible.

The Tibetan government-in-exile said one part of the video shows Chinese police beating Tibetans for participating in protests in or near Lhasa in March of last year. Men in police and paramilitary uniforms can be seen dragging bound Tibetan monks and other prisoners. The uniformed men beat some of the prisoners with batons and shout at them in Tibetan. Other security personnel can be heard speaking in (Mandarin) Chinese.

Another piece of footage shows a man with severe wounds. The Dharamsala, India-based government said he is a young employee of China Mobile named Tendar who tried to stop police from beating a monk during the events in the Tibetan capital on March 14th. Exiles officials said he died June 16th after wounds received during police torture were not sufficiently treated.