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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?"

The Olympic media tussle

July 10, 2008

Shanghaiist
July 8, 2008

It wont just be athletes and tourists descending on Beijing for the
Olympics -- an estimated 25,000 foreign journalists will be coming to
the city to provide coverage for the event. We've already mentioned
some of the tools being offered to the reporters, but a new report by
New York organization Human Rights Watch released yesterday makes it
clear how badly those resources may be needed. The report alleges
that the Chinese government has violated its promises that media
would have "complete freedom to report" during the games, instead
treating foreign correspondents to close observation, intimidation
and even violence.

Authorities, the report says, have also expanded "forbidden zones"
off-limits to journalists, which include Tibet, Gansu, Yunnan,
Qinghai and, at times, Sichuan, provinces.

Several who have chosen to ignore the boundaries have suffered
imprisonment, death threats and beatings. Censorship isn't limited to
professionals -- Chinese sources have also been the subject of
harassment at the hands of authorities.

And netizens may be the next victims of the pre-Olympic media
clean-up -- the Beijing Communications Authority has issued its first
set of warnings, reprinted after the jump.

Special rectification notice for the Olympic period

Dear customer:

We've just received notice from upper management that for the
duration of The Olympic Period beginning June 20 and ending August
25, the appropriate departments will be carrying out strict
investigations to check that websites are on record, that BBSes have
been specially recorded, as well as checking for illegal information
on websites. If your website meets any of the following criteria,
please immediately carry out the appropriate operations, or else your
website will be ordered by the upper administrative departments to be
shut down:

1. Website is not on record: please immediately proceed to the
Ministry of Information Industry website and submit your information
to be recorded. Once recording has been successful, please open the
Virtual Host Control Panel -> ICP Records and submit your registered
record number there.

2. If your website has a BBS or blog, etc., which has obtained a
Specially Recorded Forum license, please first close the the BBS or
blog, etc., to prevent the forum resulting in the entire website
being closed. For details on the procedure of having a forum
specially recorded, please contact your local Communications
Administration [zh] to enquire. Only local Communications Authorities
are clear on how to handle the special recording of local BBSes. Your
questions regarding the special recording of forums cannot be
accurately handled here.

If there are dynamic information distribution components to your
website, such as comment boards, reciprocal information distribution,
categorized information distribution, news".etc., please be sure to
active a pre-screening publishing mechanism so that all information
is screened before it is released and all illegal information is
subject to strict screening.
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