Video: Chinese Authorities Drag Olympic Reporter Away During Live Broadcast
A shocking video on Friday reveals just how far Chinese security will go to shut down freedom of the press during the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
In the video, a Dutch reporter is seen being grabbed by a Chinese security official outside the arena during a live broadcast of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, according to Insider.
The reporter, Sjoerd den Daas, of Dutch outlet NOS Nieuws, is seen in the clip being pushed and shoved away from his camera by a black-jacketed Chinese security agent.
Chinese authorities did not inform NOS what rule the reporter supposedly broke, but the outrageous clip is evidence that the Chinese will brook no freedom of the press during what some are referring to as the “genocide games.”
Onze correspondent @sjoerddendaas werd om 12.00u live in het NOS Journaal door beveiligers voor de camera weggetrokken. Helaas is dit steeds vaker de dagelijkse realiteit voor journalisten in China. Hij is in orde en kon zijn verhaal gelukkig een paar minuten later afmaken pic.twitter.com/GLTZRlZV96
— NOS (@NOS) February 4, 2022
In its Tweet of the video clip, NOS wrote: “Our correspondent [den Daas] was pulled away from the camera by security guards at 12:00 pm live in the NOS Journaal. Unfortunately, this is increasingly becoming a daily reality for journalists in China. He is fine and was able to finish his story a few minutes later.”
The reporter was not detained, but his broadcast was shut down by the Chinese security forces.
NOS editor-in-chief Marcel Gelauff said the incident was “a painful illustration” of how foreign press is treated in China.
“Sjoerd has often told and shown that it is difficult as a journalist in China. There is a far-reaching tendency to curtail freedoms, and this may be even stronger because of corona,” Gelauff added, according to Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, Yahoo News reported.
The treatment that Sjoerd den Daas faced is nothing new in China. The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China recently decried the increasing harassment that journalists are subject to in the communist nation.
The Chinese government is increasingly harassing foreign journalists, and the group said many journalists are frightened to even do their jobs.
“The FCCC highlights this development with alarm, as foreigners involved in civil or criminal lawsuits and court proceedings in China can be banned from leaving the country, based on past precedent,” the group said in January, according to the UK Guardian newspaper.
Foreign journalists face threat of physical harm as well as harassment by other means, including hacking of devices and accounts, social media attacks and a constant stream of nuisance lawsuits filed against them in the Chinese court system.
Some journalists have been jailed in China, too. Australian journalist Cheng Lei and Bloomberg journalist Haze Fan, for instance, have both been in a Chinese jail for more than a year simply for doing their jobs.
In another case, journalists John Sudworth and Yvonne Murray — who are married to each other — were forced to uproot their children and flee the country only two steps ahead of Chinese security forces.
“As we made our hasty exit, the plainclothes police tailing us and our young children to the airport were final proof of the dangers we faced and of China’s deep intolerance for independent journalism,” Sudworth said.
“The FCCC found that 62% of respondents reported being obstructed at least once by police or other officials, and 47% by unidentified individuals. It said 12% were ‘manhandled or subjected to other forms of physical force’ while reporting,” the Guardian newspaper added.
As soon as the International Olympic Committee announced that China was to host the Winter Games, pressure began to build for corporations and governments to denounce China for its massive human rights abuses.
In 2020, for instance, a spokeswoman for the World Uyghur Congress posed a question in an online meeting with Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., the International Olympic Committee member who oversees preparations for the Beijing games.
“Why should China, a country running concentration camps with at least 1 million Muslim Uyghurs being detained, be allowed to hold the Olympics?” Samaranch was asked.
Since then, the pressure has only grown. The group Human Rights Watch and others have also criticized the IOC for choosing China to host the 2022 games and has repeatedly blasted China for its human rights abuses.
The atmosphere in China is so oppressive that nearly every major western nation advised athletes and staffers to leave their personal computers and mobile devices home and bring disposable burner phones to Beijing to thwart China from spying on them, both in Beijing and after they leave to go home.
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