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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

COMMENT: IOC loses control as Beijing orders freedom of speech to take a hike

August 1, 2008

WHAT is happening in Beijing is a disgrace.
Louise Evans
The Australian
July 31, 2008

World press freedom is being dictated by a totalitarian Government
that censors free speech and jails anyone who disagrees with the
ruling Communist Party.

China has duped the International Olympic Committee. It has made the
IOC look weak and powerless by hijacking these Olympics.

In giving the Olympics to China, the IOC admitted that Beijing
brought a risk factor to the Games that has not existed since the
boycott-weakened 1980 Moscow and 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. They are
now suffering the fallout of that risk.

Yesterday, China baldly declared that as the world arrives on its
doorstep for the Olympics, it will continue to do what it always does.

It will censor and block the internet and prevent the world media
from accessing any sites that do not support its one-party,
undemocratic view of the world.

China regularly blocks and monitors internet sites it deems
unsuitable for its 1.3 billion population, with pages containing
pro-democracy, Falun Gong, Dalai Lama and Tibet freedom issues
topping the hit list.

Earlier this week, China reneged on allowing live broadcasts in
Tiananmen Square.

Yesterday, they reneged on free and open access to the internet.

What's next?

In the past few months, China started changing its language about its
pledge to freedom of the press.

Instead of promising an uncensored internet service, Olympic
officials began saying they'd provide "a convenient service".

The change in language at such a late stage alarmed the IOC, which
sought clarification on what convenient meant and when this service
would start.

Yesterday, the IOC got its answer. China said the internet service
would be sufficient.

Beijing's actions show that the IOC has lost control of the host
city. These are now China's Games, collared by suffocating security,
controlled by the state and now censored of free speech.

The rest of the world is allowed to come, kowtow and bugger off.

It's in stark contrast to the dramatic declaration in September 2006
by Li Jingbo, the media services chief of the Beijing Organising
Committee for the Games, who told the first world press briefing of
the Games that access to the internet would be uncensored.

China's backflip yesterday shows that this rhetoric has been a lie.
It is the Communist Party's way to say yes to the foreigners and then
do exactly what it wants.
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