Media group slams IOC "failure" to fight censorship at Games

The French press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders on Wednesday condemned the Chinese authorities for restricting journalists' access to the Internet and slammed the inability of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to stop them, the dpa reported.

"Reporters Without Borders condemns the cynicism of the Chinese authorities, who have yet again lied, and the IOC's inability to prevent this situation because of its refusal to speak out for several years," the group said in a statement.

authorities have apparently declared that the 20,000 journalists covering the Games will not have unrestricted access to the Internet

"This situation increases our concern that there will be many cases of censorship during the games," the group said. "We condemn the IOC's failure to do anything about this, and we are more than sceptical about its ability to 'ensure' that the media are able to report freely."

The group said that on Tuesday journalists in China were unable to access a new Amnesty International report entitled The Olympic Countdown - Broken Promises," and the websites for many foreign media, such as the BBC's Chinese-language service, the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, the Hong Kong-based Apple Daily and the Taiwan-based Liberty Time.

"The Reporters Without Borders and Falungong spiritual movement websites were also inaccessible," the group said. dpa sm sc

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