Freedom from censorship

Chinese police raid an illegal Internet cafe in the southern city of Guangzhou, 20 June 2002.

Chinese police raid an illegal Internet cafe in the southern city of Guangzhou, 20 June 2002.

© Private


In 2001, when Beijing was chosen to host the 2008 Olympics, the Chinese government promised “no restrictions on media reporting and movement of journalists up to and including the Olympic Games.”

Yet China’s commitment to “complete media freedom” is compromised by an ongoing crackdown on individual journalists, newspapers and websites that has seen the country branded “the world’s leading jailer of journalists” by media freedom organizations.

Censorship of websites, blogs and emails is also major concern. Run by an estimated 30,000-strong police force, the “Golden Shield” or “Great Firewall of China” is believed to be the most extensive, technologically sophisticated and broad-reaching system of internet filtering in the world.

And, while temporary new regulations may have given foreign journalists more freedom to conduct interviews in China until October 2008, restrictions over the domestic distribution of their reports and control over the domestic Chinese media were tightened.

Amnesty International calls upon China to give its domestic media the same freedom afforded to foreign journalists. The authorities should cease the unwarranted censorship of broadcast, print and online media in China and take urgent measures to prevent the arbitrary detention, harassment and unfair dismissal of journalists in violation of their rights to freedom of expression.

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE