Human rights activists are slamming IOC's President for ignoring China's escalating media restrictions. President Jacques Rogge, claimed last week that next year's Beijing Olympic Games "will contribute to the evolution of China" and that "20,000 journalists who come to the Games will show China as it is. It speaks for itself that will accelerate the social revolution". Rogge's comment fly in the face of the widely reported incidents of intimidations of both domestic and foreign journalists reporting in China.
New regulations introduced supposedly to allow foreign journalists to report freely from China in the run up to the 2008 Games are being ignored widely by local officials. A BBC film crew was recently expelled from Zhushan in Hunan province after attempting to report on riots that had taken place there. Chinese reporters working for foreign newspapers remain imprisoned for reporting on issues deemed sensitive by the Chinese authorities and foreign journalists wanting to report from Tibet and Xinjiang are still required to apply for special permits, despite a pledge made by Olypmics Press Chief that they need not.
"In Tibet, human rights violations remain systematic and widespread, and there is a resurge of hard-line policies aimed at Tibetan cultural and religious traditions. The IOC should hold the Chinese government accountable to commitments it made during its Olympics bid," said Mary Beth Markey of ICT.
Some information for this report was provided by FTC and AP.