Is This REALLY a Surprise?

China censoring Internet access at Olympics

On Tuesday, sites such as Amnesty International or any search for a site with Tibet in the address could not be opened at the Main Press Center, which will house about 5,000 print journalists when the games open Aug. 8.

The censored Internet is the latest broken promise on press freedoms. In bidding for the games seven years ago, Chinese officials said the media would have “complete freedom to report.” And in April, Hein Verbruggen and Kevan Gosper — senior IOC members overseeing the games — said they’d received assurances from Chinese officials that Internet censorship would be lifted for journalists during the games.

And NBC, NBC! paid $900 million!

“Rights holders such as NBC, which has paid about US$900 million to broadcast the games, and non-rights holders have faced roadblocks, red tape and changing rules as they prepare to cover unexpected events away from the venues.

Amnesty International over the past two days has sent out emails in which they remind us that “In 2001 China made a promise to improve its human rights record if given the honor of hosting the Olympic Games. Instead, China has become increasingly repressive with crackdowns on dissent and the rounding up and arrest of human rights defenders. Citing “security”, China has imprisoned individuals for doing nothing more than drawing international attention to ongoing human rights violations.

China is still the world’s top executioner. The Supreme People’s Court (SPC) initiated a review of the death penalty that is believed to have resulted in a significant drop in executions. A senior official said that in the first half of 2008 15 per cent of death sentences were rejected by the SPC.

How nice the company we keep.

Update:

Hold on, now!    According to one of the party standard bearers, the lead one in fact, it’s some of ‘spiritual quest’ (the Olympics) that can only benefit the Chinese people – who enjoy tight control over what they can and cannot view over their internets.  The press chief for the International Olympic Committee, Kevin Gosper says a ‘deal was cut’ to completely restrict/block particular websites the Chinese government  deemed unsuitable.

“The Chinese government and the Chinese people have been working in real earnest to honor the commitments made to the international community,” the normally media-shy Hu, who doubles as Communist Party chief, said.

Now, I just love this statement from the VP of the International Olympic Committee, Gunilla Lindberg

“The IOC Coordination Commission and BOCOG met last night and agreed,” she said, referring to Beijing’s Olympic organizers. “Internet use will be just like in any Olympics.”

Huh.

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One Response

  1. […] Original post by Left Side of the Moon […]

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