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China 'breaking promises' on Olympic web censorship

China 'breaking promises' on Olympic web censorship

作者:余柿  时间:2017-06-14 08:01:04  人气:

By New Scientist staff and Reuters The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will investigate apparent censorship of the internet service provided for the media covering the Beijing Olympics, press chief Kevan Gosper said on Tuesday. China, which has promised the media the same freedom to report on the games as they enjoyed at previous Olympics, loosened its regulations governing foreign media in January last year. But despite the new regulations, scheduled to expire in October, foreign reporters in China have complained of continuing harassment by officials. Human Rights Watch released a report earlier this month saying China was not living up to its pledges. Then, on Monday, Amnesty International released a report slamming China for going back on its Olympic human rights promises. Attempts to access the Amnesty International website from the Olympics Main Press Centre proved fruitless on Tuesday. Gosper said the IOC would look into anything that interfered with reporters doing their jobs in reporting the games. “All of these things are a concern and we’ll investigate them, but our preoccupation is that the media are able to report on the games as they did in previous games,” he told Reuters, saying the IOC would contact the Beijing Olympic organisers and the authorities as soon as any problems appeared. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said the media should be able to access the internet as usual. But he conceded that sites related to Falun Gong, a spiritual movement that China considers a cult, would be blocked. He also suggested that difficulties accessing certain websites could be the fault of the sites themselves. “There are some problems with a lot of websites themselves that makes it not easy to view them in China,” Liu said, without explaining what those technical problems might be, “Our attitude is to ensure that foreign journalists have regular access to information in China during the Olympic Games.” The games officially open on 8 August, but the athletes’ and media villages are up and running and the Main Press Centre and International Broadcast Centre are already teeming with some of the more than 20,000 media accredited to cover the event. “As I’ve said before, this is a country that does have censorship within its media, but we’ve been guaranteed free access, open media activity for media reporting on the Olympic Games at games time,” Gosper said. “We are now in games time.” Speculation is growing about how the authorities will respond should any of the media attempt to report on non-sporting topics not covered by the agreement. Gosper also said the IOC has already asked the games organisers to address complaints the internet service provided for media was too slow. “Free access to the internet also means normal speed,