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Itn Reporter Attacked And Detained By Chinese Police


Rob.
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Just thought it was worth pointing out what one of the main "Olympic" stories on British evening news was last night:

ITN reporter attacked and detained by Chinese police at Tibet protest

Chinese police knock-ed a British journalist to the ground and dragged him away from a pro-Tibet protest yesterday, in an incident that is sure to reopen the debate about interference with media freedom at the Beijing Olympics.

Police hauled John Ray, ITN's China correspondent, from a park less than a mile from the "Bird's Nest" Olympic stadium to a nearby restaurant, where they threw his shoes in the corner and sat on his arms, shortly after foreign protesters unfurled a pro-Tibet banner. The reporter said after his release: "I wonder how this fits in with their solemn promise of free and unrestricted reporting... it was a wrestling match.

Ray, who is fully accredited to report in Beijing during the Games, said he was detained for about 20 minutes and his equipment bag was confiscated, despite repeated protestations in Chinese that he was a journalist. He was thrown into a police van and he had bruising on his hand from where a police officer stood on it, he said.

The pro-Tibetan independence group, Students for a Free Tibet, said two of its protesters who unfurled the banner were arrested while six other members were also detained for protesting nearby. They included six Americans, an Israeli-American and a Japanese national.

Last month, the Beijing Olympic organisers said they were introducing three "protest parks" where anyone who wanted to express their opinions could do so. However, the demonstrations require approval and any protests that might harm "national unity" and "national, social or collective interests" are forbidden.

Ji Sizun, 58, who describes himself as a grassroots legal activist from Fujian province, was arrested this week after he applied for a permit to hold a protest in one of the three designated protest zones. In his application, Mr Ji said the protest would call for greater participation of Chinese citizens in political processes, and denounce rampant official corruption.

When it was awarded the right to stage the Games in 2001, China pledged to allow foreign media to report just as they would anywhere in the world, but the government has been criticised for continuing to block reports on sensitive issues, such as Tibet and Xinjiang.

The British embassy expressed "strong concern" to the Chinese authorities about the incident involving Ray. Jonathan Watts, president of The Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) in Beijing, said: "The FCC is appalled by this treatment of an accredited journalist within half-a-mile of the main Olympic stadium. We call on the authorities to return his equipment, to apologise and, if it is proved that a crime has been committed, to punish those responsible."

Edited by Rob ♪
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Absolutely shameful. It was reported in France that he was only "doing his job", and the Chinese came in heavy handedly.

These games are proving to be the 'no fun Olympic games' indeed, as reported by the Australian earlier this week.

A combination of high heat, heavy rain and Communist Party oppression has resulted in a lot of unhappy foreigner and locals in the Olympic capital.

Spectators have been drenched waiting for transport, there are no public live sites, ordinary Chinese have been excluded from the Olympic domain, the torch relay and the opening ceremony and there are no taxis after dark because of traffic restrictions.

The Australian

London won't have to worry about their stadiums not being up to scratch, they surely will surpass these games for excitement.

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If he knew about the protests I wouldn't feel empathy for him at all. It's such a hot topic, so why even risk getting involved? The world has to lead by example, not by causing a media frenzy.

Ridiculous argument. Whether you think he was wise to report on the protests or not, no journalist should be treated that way for reporting what's happening. It's very likely, given the relativley small scale of the protest, that it wouldn't have been a major news story and it may not even have made the evening news had John Ray not been treated so badly by the police. The Chinese police have made a mountain out of a molehill and created a much bigger negative story than if they'd treated the journalist as they should have done. It's as simple as that.

Absolutely shameful. It was reported in France that he was only "doing his job", and the Chinese came in heavy handedly.

These games are proving to be the 'no fun Olympic games' indeed, as reported by the Australian earlier this week.

A combination of high heat, heavy rain and Communist Party oppression has resulted in a lot of unhappy foreigner and locals in the Olympic capital.

Spectators have been drenched waiting for transport, there are no public live sites, ordinary Chinese have been excluded from the Olympic domain, the torch relay and the opening ceremony and there are no taxis after dark because of traffic restrictions.

The Australian

London won't have to worry about their stadiums not being up to scratch, they surely will surpass these games for excitement.

Michelle, I don't want to agree with that news story just yet; we'll see how the the rest of the Games pan out. London's not immune to rain so the sight of soaked spectators could be repeated in four years. A crazed lunatic could very well attack a couple of tourists on our streets in 2012. The official chanting is a little odd through Western eyes but it's essentially harmless and just indicative of a different culture. London's Games will be more spontaneous and probably more inclusive than Beijing's; but that's something we've always known, not a revelation from the last week.

In other words, most of the things in that article we either knew would happen (i.e. the Chinese games would be tightly controlled and less spotaneous), or are unlucky and could happen anywhere (i.e. the rain and the murder). The incident with with John Ray can't be brushed away so easily. That is something we hoped - and indeed the Chinese promised - wouldn't happen. But it has, and it is something the Chinese had full control over, unlike the weather.

A bit more rain isn't going to make me dismiss the Beijing games as a major dissapointment. More incidents like the one yesterday, however, will.

Edited by Rob ♪
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Ridiculous argument. Whether you think he was wise to report on the protests or not, no journalist should be treated that way for reporting what's happening. It's very likely, given the relativley small scale of the protest, that it wouldn't have been a major news story and it may not even have made the evening news had John Ray not been treated so badly by the police. The Chinese police have made a mountain out of a molehill and created a much bigger negative story than if they'd treated the journalist as they should have done. It's as simple as that.

Michelle, I don't want to agree with that news story just yet; we'll see how the the rest of the Games pan out. London's not immune to rain so the sight of soaked spectators could be repeated in four years. A crazed lunatic could very well attack a couple of tourists on our streets in 2012. The official chanting is a little odd through Western eyes but it's essentially harmless and just indicative of a different culture. London's Games will be more spontaneous and probably more inclusive than Beijing's; but that's something we've always known, not a revelation from the last week.

In other words, most of the things in that article we either knew would happen (i.e. the Chinese games would be tightly controlled and less spotaneous), or are unlucky and could happen anywhere (i.e. the rain and the murder). The incident with with John Ray can't be brushed away so easily. That is something we hoped - and indeed the Chinese promised - wouldn't happen. But it has, and it is something the Chinese had full control over, unlike the weather.

A bit more rain isn't going to make me dismiss the Beijing games as a major dissapointment. More incidents like the one yesterday, however, will.

I wasn't being overly critical of the weather as I understand the Chinese don't possess technology to blow clouds away (not yet, anyway). but what I did wish to highlight was the lack of freedom and the lack of excitement that has graced other games.

Yes, there has been some amazing performances, Phelps etc... but the 'Olympic Feeling' is missing, reported by TF1 earlier in the week, I agree completely. Organized cheering is odd to us, but do the Chinese people honestly need to be told when to cheer and when not to? Are the Chinese retards? I don't believe so...

I remember the coverage of the Athens and Sydney games. We tuned in for the sports and to see reporters mingle with the general public, lapping up the excitement, the joy of their city hosting the Olympic Summer Games.

These games are proving to be a damp squid, they can only get better. Heres hoping.

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