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VOA Rejects Chinese Allegations on Tibet Self-Immolations

Voice of America Director David Ensor has categorically denied allegations contained in a Chinese state television report, which blames VOA broadcasts for encouraging self-immolations in Tibet.

“That is totally false,” Ensor said at the VOA headquarters in Washington Wednesday. “We do report these tragic stories; we do not encourage these self-immolations, that is wrong.”

Ensor called the self-immolations a sign of the distress in Tibet.

The CCTV allegations were part of a CCTV documentary that interviewed a survivor of an attempted self-immolation, who said he set himself on fire after watching VOA news broadcasts.

CCTV also accused VOA of using secret code to send messages to people inside Tibet.

Ensor said, “That is one of the more amazing parts of the CCTV report. That suggestion is totally absurd.”

VOA Tibetan Service Chief Losang Gyatso responded to the allegations by saying the tragic events in Tibet have been very difficult to report, but he said VOA broadcast the facts “to the best of our abilities in a balanced and comprehensive manner.” He noted VOA’s news reports often included the views of Chinese officials.

VOA was not contacted for a response to the allegations made in the CCTV documentary report.

VOA, in particular its Chinese and Tibetan Services, have provided extensive coverage of the nearly 100 Tibetans who have self-immolated. VOA is requesting CCTV and the China Daily retract the stories they have published.

For more information about this release contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write For more information about VOA visit the Public Relations website at, or the main news site at