Subject: ATT; SOPHIE RICHARDSON
Date: 11 September 2007 11:37:52 AM
Hi Sophie Richardson,
Interesting that FIFA is now visiting Zimbabwe to check out accommodation for 2010 World Cup. Amazing that FIFA can even contemplate involving themselves with Mugabe !
I wonder whether the IOC and FIFA are really bothered about press freedom ?
As The Freedom of Expression Institute is reluctant to confront Mbeki's attempts to muzzle the South African press, perhaps Human Rights Watch and Fix The Fxi will have to intervene as South Africa heads towards 2010.
"The Chinese government seems to see a free media as an enemy rather than a watchdog of public safety and social stability." (HRW)
A sentiment that could equally apply to Mbeki's government ?
Attacks on media freedom continue despite government assurances to International Olympic Committee
Date: 07 September 2007
(HRW/IFEX) - The following is a Human Rights Watch press release:
China: Media Freedom Attacks Continue Despite Pledges
11 Months Ahead of Beijing Olympics, Journalist Harassment Ongoing
(New York, September 7, 2007) - The Chinese government continues to violate the rights of journalists in spite of assurances to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the 2008 Beijing Olympics would foster improvements in human rights and of specific pledges of wider media freedoms, Human Rights Watch said today.
Just 11 months before the 2008 Beijing Games begin, journalists in China continue to face physical abuse and harassment from police and plainclothes thugs who appear to work at official behest.
"The continuing harassment and physical abuse of journalists in the countdown to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing raises serious questions about the sincerity of government pledges to greater media freedom," said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. "The Chinese government seems to see a free media as an enemy rather than a watchdog of public safety and social stability."
As part of its 2001 bid for the 2008 Olympics, the Chinese government expressly assured the IOC that it would loosen its long-held grip on the media during the Olympic Games. That commitment is consistent with the obligation of Olympic host cities to comply with Article 51 of the Olympic Charter, which stipulates that the IOC should take "all necessary steps in order to ensure the fullest coverage by the different media and the widest possible audience in the world for the Olympic Games." Moreover, Article 35 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China specifically guarantees "freedom . . . of the press."