China to restrict internet access during Olympics

Journalists covering the Beijing Olympics won't have unrestricted access to the internet as had been previously promised. The move contradicts the Chinese authorities' promise, made during the bidding process seven years ago, that foreign media would enjoy complete press freedom during the games.

Any websites not deemed suitable by the Chinese government will be blocked. Yesterday journalists found out that human rights websites such as Amnesty International cannot be accessed from any of the press centres contained in the Olympic village.

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) maintain that China has fulfilled its responsibilities regarding press freedom, arguing that unrestricted access is not fundamental to reporting on a sporting event. Human rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders, however, have criticised the IOC claiming that they haven't held China to the promises it made seven years ago when it was successful in its Olympic bid.

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