Friday, 1 August 2008

Rudd to raise China Olympic censorship

China's human rights worse: Amnesty

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he will raise concerns with the Chinese Government about internet censorship during the Olympics.

Chinese authorities are blocking sensitive websites used by the international media and are using spyware to monitor internet use in hotels used by journalists and other visitors to the Games.

The chairman of the International Olympic Committee's media commission, Kevan Gosper, has complained that he was not informed of the decision and says his reputation has been damaged over the issue.

Mr Rudd has said he will discuss the issue when he visits Beijing for the Games.

"I'm quite concerned by them, I saw the reports, also the comments by Kevan Gosper," he said.

"My attitude to our friends in China is very simple, they should have nothing to fear by open digital links with the rest of the world during this important international celebration of sport."

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates meanwhile agrees that the controversy has "damaged" Mr Gosper.

"He clearly at some stage has been under the impression, and you showed me the bit of paper saying there would be restrictions," he said.

"He didn't know that, he's apologised.

"Others in the IOC say there are no restrictions. So we'll see. I'm finding it a little confusing."


China's human rights worse: Amnesty

Human rights group Amnesty International has released a scathing assessment of China's human rights record since it was awarded the right to host next month's Olympic Games seven years ago.

Dalai Lama arrives in Sydney
The president of the NSW Tibetan Community, Tenzin Gaden said he hoped the Dalai Lama's visit would raise awareness of the plight of the Tibetan people, who are under Chinese rule.

Thousands flock to Canberra ahead of torch relay
"Among all the communities, including the Chinese and Tibetan, those who live in Australia, I personally have had to deal with them in many, many years, they are strongly supportive of peace and harmony, because we are a great multicultural nation here."

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