Conflict & Justice

Olympic torch and Mount Everest

At this altitude it can be hard to breathe and many of us journalists have experienced medical troubles. Unfortunately our Chinese organizers stipulated that we had to make this trip in just four days, so nothing a doctor would advise. (So you got approval from this Olympic group to cover the story just four days ago? Even the most experienced climbers need to acclimate to the altitude.) Yes, we think it's because of the unrest in Lhasa which has meant much less time for us to acclimate to the high altitude. I struggle to breathe whenever we do any physical exertion. So it's a frustrating situation for us because the Chinese are not giving us any information about the fate of the Olympic torch as it tries to make it up Mt. Everest. (What are you being told about the torch's location at the moment?) We've been told that the flame of the torch is here in this region. We do not know if it's at base camp or if they're aiming for a particular day, their only concern is to make sure we're here for the victory celebration and to celebrate this Chinese achievement and not about the protests around the world. (This seems like an odd way to garner publicity. How many other journalists are there?) There were 11, now 10 because of the man who got sick and had to go down and there are probably about 50 Chinse journalists. There was pressure to take international journalists on this trip, but it seems to be pushed through to give maximum press coverage. (Have you been to base camp?) No we're not allowed, it's close to here but the road is blocked by Chinese policemen so there's little we can see or do and a lot of the journalists are becoming frustrated.

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