So far, my blog seems to have only emphasised the depressing fact that journalists have died. It’s about time I mentioned other undermining forms against press freedom like journalists and media workers being imprisoned for doing their job.
According to Reporters without Borders, 132 journalists have been imprisoned so far this year along with 62 cyber dissidents (internet users, bloggers). Video-sharing and internet websites have been victims of censorship, especially in China.
Recent events (this week’s interrupted torch run in London) signified how close the Olympic Games are. I was also reminded that whilst the Olympic Games open in Beijing on 8 August, around 100 journalists, internet users and bloggers will remain in the country’s prisons. The International Olympic Committee seems to stand alone in believing that the government will actually make a human rights compromise before the Games begin.
When the International Olympic Committee assigned the 2008 summer Olympic Games to Beijing in 2001, the Chinese police increased the detaining of internet users and journalists. Six years later the repression continues. Blogger Hu Jia is among those arrested in the country for suggesting that the Games should not be held in China. Other arrests are expected to follow.
The Olympic summer this year is definitely a matter of concern for press freedom defenders. Press freedom in general this year is a major concern.
“ It looks like 2008 will be an even tougher year for the media, we have to say it is very unlikely the job of journalists will get any easier in the months ahead.”-Reporters without Borders