Last Updated on September 28, 2008 by Jimson Lee
Lets take a look at some of these famous quotes:
1) “I will continue to express the fact I am for a drug-free sport and always will be” – Marion Jones
2) “I have never knowingly taken illegal drugs and I would never embarrass my family, friends and my country, and the kids who love me.” – Ben Johnson
3) “I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did NOT have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie” – Bill Clinton
4) “We will allow journalists open Internet access during the Olympics” – Host nation China on being awarded the 2008 Olympics 7 years ago.
Well guess what?
They all changed their minds! They all retracted on their own statements.
But not to worry: I will have upcoming articles on how to beat the system. So stay tuned…
China will Censor Internet During Olympic Games
China and the International Olympic Committee have confirmed that the Internet will be censored for Olympic Games reporters. The censorship decision runs counter to China’s promise seven years ago. The Center for Democracy and Technology and Reporters Without Borders are condemning both China and the IOC.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Chinese government confirmed Wednesday what free-speech advocates loathe to hear: Reporters covering the Olympic Games won’t be able to access Web sites that China deems politically sensitive.
Internet censorship is standard for China’s citizens, but China vowed seven years ago to allow journalists unfettered access during the Olympics. The backpedaling means about 20,000 reporters and technicians that will flood Beijing next week for the Olympic Games will be working with a handicap.
“The Olympic committee should have understood in the first place that censorship is a core strategy the Chinese government uses to maintain control. The IOC was naive to think China would relinquish that control, if only for a week,” said Leslie Harris, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology. “It is very disappointing. I am as disappointed in the IOC as I am in China.”
Condemnation for China’s Policies
Reporters Without Borders is condemning the IOC’s acceptance of Chinese authorities’ decision to block access to certain Web sites at the Olympic Games media center in Beijing. The organization also condemns the IOC’s inability to prevent this situation.
“Coming just nine days before the opening ceremony, this is yet another provocation by the Chinese authorities. This situation increases our concern that there will be many cases of censorship during the games,” the organization said. “We condemn the IOC’s failure to do anything about this, and we are more than skeptical about its ability to ‘ensure’ that the media are able to report freely.”
Sun Weide, the chief spokesperson for the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, said the authorities would only guarantee “sufficient” Internet access for accredited media.
Many Broken Promises
Beyond the Internet censorship, Chinese authorities have broken their promise to improve the country’s human-rights situation and betrayed the core values of the Olympics, according to a new Amnesty International report.
In the run-up to the Olympics, Chinese authorities have locked up, put under house arrest, and forcibly removed individuals they believe may threaten the image of stability and harmony they want to present to the world, the group said.
“By continuing to persecute and punish those who speak out for human rights, the Chinese authorities have lost sight of the promises they made when they were granted the games seven years ago,” said Roseann Rife, Asia-Pacific deputy director of Amnesty International.
“The Chinese authorities are tarnishing the legacy of the games,” Rife said. “They must release all imprisoned peaceful activists, allow foreign and national journalists to report freely, and make further progress toward the elimination of the death penalty.”
Selling Out for Profits
As Harris sees it, the world has not put adequate pressure on China because so many nations want to be involved with the economic engine that China has become. China is throwing its human-rights record in the face of international guests who will experience what it’s like to try to communicate inside China, she said.
“I am hopeful that there will be some strong sentiments expressed by democratic countries. If that does not happen at this important moment, we will lose a critical opportunity to move China in a different direction,” Harris said. “Until and unless the democratic world makes this a real issue and understands the connection between Internet freedom and the realization of human rights more broadly, China has no reason to back down.”