The Olympics

The Olympics


News, information and stories about the Olympics.

Friday, September 29, 2006

China Curtails Media Freedoms

China, earlier this week in Beijing, unveiled its plans for the coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Liu Qi, mayor of Beijing and president of the organising Committee BOCOG, and Sun Weijia, Olympics Press Chief revealed that China would ban material about human rights violations.

A list of banned items was also produced, which may not be brought into China, including "print products and CD-ROMs which are harmful to China's politics, economy and culture."

Needless to say, the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) press commission chief, Kevan Gosper, has asked journalists "to respect the conditions and rules" in place in China.

Matt Whitticase of Free Tibet Campaign said:

"The IOC's infamous pledge that giving the Games to China would improve the human rights situation there in the run up to the 2008 Games is in ruins.

In 2002 Jacques Rogge said he would act if China failed to protect rights to his satisfaction in the run up to the Games. Instead, Mr Gosper's latest statement suggests the IOC is colluding with China in preventing journalists from covering China's ongoing and serious human rights violations in China and Tibet, a key component of the overall coverage of the Beijing 2008 Games.

It is particularly damaging that the IOC should encourage journalists to censor themselves precisely at the time when China is cracking down on the ability of domestic and foreign journalists to report sensitive news in China

The Foreign Correspondents Club in Beijing has received reports of 72 incidents of harassment of journalists from 15 countries, over the last year.

Notwithstanding the above, it is safe to assume that the IOC will not act to destabilise the 2008 Games, so long as they get the sponsorship deals.

No comments:

Post a Comment