No internet censorship deal with China, says IOC (Lead)August 2nd, 2008 - 4:27 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, Aug 2 (DPA) The International Olympic Committee made no deal with China on limiting Internet access to the media at the Beijing Olympics, IOC president Jacques Rogge said Saturday. “There has absolutely been no deal, no agreement with the Chinese,” Rogge told DPA around IOC executive board meetings ahead of the Aug 8-24 Games.
Rogge also said that “we must improve the situation”, the day after several websites such as Amnesty International were finally unblocked for the Olympic media after protests.
IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies did not speak of “uncensored” Internet access like Rogge in the past, but spoke of “furthest possible access” and said the Chinese had made “unprecedented moves” by unblocking some websites for the Olympic media.
IOC press commission chief Kevan Gosper said earlier Saturday that a working group from the IOC and the Beijing organisers BOCOG has been set up to deal with possible further problems on the issue.
A number of websites are blocked by the Communist government for Chinese citizens but China promised that the Olympic media at least have better access.
The international media was furious when it noticed this week that websites were blocked in the Olympic media centre, which prompted speculation of a possible deal or that the IOC had caved in to the Chinese.
“I was very unhappy on Tuesday. Censorship was being applied. It was clarified at the most senior level,” Gosper told a news conference.
Gosper said he met Rogge after the IOC boss’ arrival in Beijing on Friday and that IOC top officials Hein Verbruggen and Gilbert Felli then met the organising committee BOCOG that resulted in the unblocking of websites.
Journalists at the media centre are now able to access sites for Amnesty, US broadcaster Radio Free Asia, the China-critical Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily, and Human Rights Watch as well as the site of a group advocating Taiwan independence.
But access to other websites were still barred, including those for Human Rights in China and organisations advocating the end of Chinese rule in Tibet and western China’s Muslim-populated Xinjiang region. The websites for the outlawed spiritual group Falun Gong were also blocked.
Gosper also dismissed claims that the IOC was to blame over the issue.
“This came as a big surprise. There was uncertainty from BOCOG. The IOC is not ineffective.”
“In the end BOCOG will fall in line with the IOC. It has been a fairly rough week. We are back on track,” said Gosper.
- China opens some Internet sites blocked to the media - Aug 02, 2008
- IOC says it can't order China to lift Internet censorship - Jul 30, 2008
- China unblocks some websites at Olympic media centre - Aug 01, 2008
- IOC says many countries interested in hosting Youth Olympics - Aug 21, 2010
- Asian Games opening ceremony 'absolutely fantastic', says Rogge - Nov 13, 2010
- Rogge terms London Olympics 'happy & glorious' - Aug 13, 2012
- London Olympics to go down as Athletes' Games: IOC chief - Aug 13, 2012
- Now, China makes Skype illegal - Dec 31, 2010
- Six cities bid for 2018 Youth Olympic Games - Mar 03, 2012
- Olympic flame lit in Greece (Lead) - May 10, 2012
- IOC happy with running of the Olympics - Aug 13, 2008
- Banning social media threat to democracy: Ankit Fadia - Jan 24, 2012
- Beijing unblocks BBC Chinese site - Aug 01, 2008
- IOC chief praises China's anti-pollution efforts - Aug 07, 2008
- IOC was surprised by Tibet unrest: Rogge - Dec 31, 2008
Tags: amnesty international, aug 2, beijing olympics, bocog, broadcaster, chinese citizens, communist government, executive board meetings, felli, giselle, international olympic committee, internet censorship, ioc president jacques rogge, kevan gosper, olympic media, organising committee, radio free asia, taiwan independence, uncensored internet, verbruggen