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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 8:28 EDT

China Blocks Some Web Access in Main Media Area

July 30, 2008

By STEPHEN WADE

By Stephen Wade

The Associated Press

BEIJING

Olympic organizers are backtracking on another promise about coverage of the Beijing Games, keeping in place blocks on Internet sites in the Main Press Center and venues where reporters will work.

The blocked sites will make it difficult for journalists to retrieve information, particularly on political and human rights stories the government dislikes. On Tuesday, sites such as Amnesty International or any search for a site with Tibet in the address could not be opened at the Main Press Center, which will house about 5,000 print journalists when the Games open Aug. 8.

“This type of censorship would have been unthinkable in Athens, but China seems to have more formalities,” said Mihai Mironica, a journalist with ProTV in Romania.

The censored Internet is the latest broken promise on media freedoms. In bidding for the Games seven years ago, Chinese officials said the media would have “complete freedom to report.”

In April, Hein Verbruggen and Kevan Gosper – senior IOC members overseeing the Games – said they’d received assurances from Chinese officials that Internet censorship would be lifted for journalists during the Games.

China routinely blocks Internet access to its own citizens.

broken promise

The censored Internet is the latest broken promise on media freedoms. In bidding for the Games seven years ago, Chinese officials said the media would have “complete freedom to report.”

Originally published by BY STEPHEN WADE.

(c) 2008 Virginian – Pilot. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.