Repression and a Gutless IOC

This is Financial Times’ Editorial:

China has also broken its promise to allow “complete freedom” to the media. No one expected the domestic media suddenly to be unshackled for the Olympics – the heated debate in China over the two young singers was duly excised from local websites and banned from the state-controlled media – but foreign journalists did think they would operate freely. That has not happened. It has been easier than ever for visiting journalists to enter China, but they are often hindered and harassed if they try to cover issues other than sport, and some websites are blocked within the main Olympic press centre.

The Chinese Communist party’s approach is not a surprise. But the IOC’s casual attitude towards the promises it received seven years ago from Beijing on human rights and press freedom (it has done slightly better on monitoring Beijing’s poor air quality) is an embarrassment for the whole Olympic movement.


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