China failed to enact democratic reforms in 2008 despite promises to do so, a private democracy watchdog organization said Tuesday.
The statement from the Washington, D.C.-based Freedom House came as the group unveiled its 2009 “Freedom in the World,” report, an analysis on levels of freedom in almost 200 countries around the globe.
Asia researcher Sarah Cook called China’s progress toward freedom in 2008 “disappointing,” particularly following its promises to expand opportunities for free expression in connection with the holding of the summer Olympics.
“There were restrictions on Internet access even after there was some opening of that when the Games first began, and … a lot of attacks and incidents of foreign journalists arrested,” Cook said. “Meanwhile, local journalists continue to face a very difficult environment, including arrests.”