Wednesday, November 15, 2006

CPJ raises concerns about press freedom in China

According to New China News Agency “being a reporter is the third most dangerous occupation in China.” It is no wonder that the Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the lack of freedom of the press and the safety of reporters in the lead to the 2008 Olympics. Is the solution part of the problem—we better check with the IOC?

After the meeting, CPJ’s Kramer said:

“We are very concerned that once the closing ceremonies are held and international attention fades, Chinese journalists will bear the brunt of official retribution for reporting any news that the government deems unfavorable. It is in the interest of the IOC to hold China to its promise of ensuring that all journalists, Chinese and foreign, are able to cover every aspect of the Games without obstruction or fear of reprisal."

In their 2001 bid to host the Games in the Chinese capital, Chinese officials gave explicit assurances of complete media access for all journalists in 2008. The CPJ delegation said the IOC has the obligation to raise media concerns with Chinese officials now because of China’s lagging record in meeting those commitments. Instead of the gradual reform needed to achieve those pledges, CPJ research shows that media conditions in China have worsened considerably since 2001. Chinese journalists are at much greater risk of administrative penalties and criminal prosecution as a result of their work. (more)

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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