Going against their own mandate to protect the independence of the Olympic Movement and to preserve human dignity, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has caved to Beijing's demands to censor the media's Internet access during the Games.
Sites from human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, or any search for a site with Tibet in the address have been blocked, making it difficult for journalists to find information on political and human rights stories the Chinese government dislikes.
Seven years ago, when bidding for the games, China promised to allow "complete freedom to report." But that didn't matter to the IOC officials, who have agreed to China's request to Internet censorship only a few days before the Games. A senior IOC official apologized for that decision, but an apology is not enough.
The IOC's mission is not to be China's accomplice but to "place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity," and that won't happen as long as the games are held against a backdrop of torture, political persecution and lies.
It's time for the IOC to stop playing China's Games. Cutting a deal with China to allow Internet censorship was wrong and we want more than a simple apology. Tell the IOC to demand free Internet access for journalists covering the Olympic Games and to pressure China to honor its pledge to improve human rights before the Games.
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