China lifts Olympics internet censorship

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has moved quickly to quell media furore surrounding internet censorship imposed on Beijing-based journalists.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice president Gunilla Lindberg has moved quickly to quell the media furore surrounding internet censorship imposed on Beijing-based journalists ahead of the upcoming Olympic Games.

The announcement follows uproar earlier in the week when the IOC came in for heavy criticism after apparently caving in to Chinese authorities over reporting restrictions.

"The problem is solved," said Lindberg, after reaching an agreement with the Beijing Organising Committee for the Games to open internet access for journalists. "Now the internet can be used freely, as in all previous Olympic Games."

As of Friday morning reporters in the Olympic press headquarters in Beijing confirmed that previously restricted sites had been unblocked, including Radio Free Asia, the official American news service, the BBC and Wikipedia.

Journalists also reported that sites that have taken a heavily critical line over China such as Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders were once again open for business.

Earlier in the week Mark Allison, East Asia researcher at Amnesty International, demanded that the IOC and the Beijing Organising Committee fulfil their commitment to freedom of the press and provide "immediate uncensored internet access" at Olympic media venues.

"Censorship of the internet at the Games is compromising fundamental human rights and betraying Olympic values," he said.
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