Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Saturday, 19 April 2008 14:03 UK

Hundreds gather in Tibet protest

Protest outside BBC Manchester
The protesters are targeting the BBC and other media organisations

Hundreds of Chinese students have gathered in Manchester and London to protest at the Western media's portrayal of the Free Tibet movement.

More than 1,000 people, wearing "I love China" t-shirts, gathered outside BBC Manchester and about 300 were outside the Houses of Parliament in London.

Protest organiser Tian Yang said: "All we want is more people to listen to our voice and Chinese people's voices."

The BBC said, despite restrictions, its coverage had been "fair and balanced".

It added: "The same is true of our reporting of the Olympic torch relay and the protests that have accompanied it."

Mr Yang added: "The BBC is the national broadcaster, so we aim at them, but also the Western media in general.

Protest outside BBC Manchester
Students held hands in the silent protest

"The way they frame the story is biased. There is only one side of the story.

"They take their views from Tibetan government and the Western petitions.

"All we want is more people to listen to our voice and Chinese people's voices because they are only interviewing the Tibetan separatists."

Protesters held a two-hour silent demonstration outside the BBC in Manchester before they read out an "open letter to BBC" at 1230 BST.

Torch relay

The letter, addressed to director general Mark Thompson suggests the BBC is "tarnishing and demonising China".

The letter is signed "from the Chinese community in Manchester".

An hour later, protesters marched to Manchester Town Hall and spoke to the media about promoting the spirit of the Beijing Olympics.

In London, protester Becky Qin told BBC News 24 she thought its coverage of the torch relay was mainly about the pro-Tibet demonstrators.

She said: "When I went back to Cambridge - and when I saw the recorded version of BBC News 24 - we were disappointed to see nothing about a supporting group at all.

"It was as if the torch was just struggling its way through London and how it was all about how people were so resentful of it, and how people were trying to grab the torch or stop the torch relay."



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