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  • Incident Reports | 29 October, 2014 (00:00)

    German TV crew kicked out of Qinghai

    September 29th 2014

    A German TV crew filmed a travelogue, a bicycle trip through Qinghai, roughly from the Qinghai Lake to Mount Anemaqen. When the crew checked in to a small hotel in Dongchuan (Menyuan county, Haibei prefecture, Qinghai province) the hotel owner informed the police. They came to check the documents, took photos of passports, press cards and the crew. They told the journalists that they have to leave the district (Haibei) and return to Datong or Xining. The correspondent called the foreign ministry but was told that they couldn’t help because the crew had violated a rule. The police accompanied the TV crew (one car in front, one behind) to the “border” of their county (Menyuan). Then the journalists had to travel almost four hours back to Xining. The next morning four people from the Provincial Waiban came to the hotel and ordered the correspondent to leave the province, because they had violated Article 77 and had been in “non-open areas.” The Waiban said if the crew did not leave, they couldn’t guarantee the police wouldn’t investigate the violation, which could lead to a brief detention and the confiscation of the footage.

    Before starting the trip the crew applied for a J-2 visa for an additional cameraman and therefor had informed Foreign Ministry and Qinghai Waiban. Application process was started mid-August. 

    Foreign Ministry asked them to inform Qinghai Waiban, who asked for trip details. The crew sent them a list of the cities/villages they planned to visit and a rough schedule beginning of September. Waiban’s answer was that there were some “un-open” areas involved and they needed some time. The crew told Waiban/foreign ministry they needed the visa latest around 15th of September. When no answer was given the team decided to hire an additional cameraman in Beijing and started the trip without giving any further notice to the Waiban.