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China blocks YouTube

March 25, 2009 13:31 IST

China has blocked the access to video-sharing website YouTube in the country, a media report said on Wednesday.

The New York Times quoted Google as saying that it did not know why the site had been blocked. But a report by the official Xinhua news agency of China on Tuesday said supporters of the Dalai Lama [Images] had fabricated a video that appeared to show Chinese police officers brutally beating Tibetans after riots last year in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital.

The paper said Xinhua did not identify the video, but based on the description, it appears to match a video available on YouTube that was recently released by the Tibetan government in exile.

It purportedly shows police officers storming a monastery after riots in Lhasa last March, kicking and beating protesters. It includes other instances of brutality and graphic images of a protester's wounds. According to the video, the protester later died, the newspaper said.

"We don't know the reason for the block," Google spokesman Scott Rubin said.

Rubin said the company first noticed traffic from China had decreased sharply late Monday, adding that by early Tuesday, it had dropped to nearly zero.

China routinely filters Internet content and blocks material that is critical of its policies. It also frequently blocks individual videos on YouTube, the Times noted.




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