Rule of Law

Chinese go further, faster and higher with media crackdowns two years before Beijing Olympics

Reporters Without Borders
August 7, 2006

‘The Chinese police continue to jail, attack or intimidate Chinese citizens who talk to the foreign press. The most dramatic recent case was that of Fu Xiancai, an activist on behalf of people displaced by the Three Gorges dam.’

When the Summer Olympic Games open in Beijing two years from today, on 8 August 2008, neither the Beijing Organising Committee (BOCOG) nor the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be in a position to guarantee that the thousands of journalists covering the event will be able move about freely or write what they think, although the Chinese authorities promised they would. Reporters Without Borders is outraged that, 730 days before the start of the Beijing Games, the Chinese authorities are able to continue a crackdown on the press with virtually nothing being said by the IOC or the national Olympic committees. Nothing seems capable of eliciting a reaction from the Olympic bodies, not even restrictions on the foreign press. “This silence allows the Chinese government to shamelessly continue its massive human rights violations,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Already marred by corruption, the preparation of the games has been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, which officials say is necessary to make sure they are safe.” The press freedom organisation also fears that all the surveillance and crowd-control equipment that China has bought from US, Israeli and French companies to ensure security at the games, will afterwards be used for repression.

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