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Olympics: Cheer Squads Deployed to Cover up Empty Seats

On August 12, 2008, Wang Wei, vice-president of the Beijing Olympic Organising Committee (BOCOG) revealed they were volunteers shipped in to “create a good atmosphere” by cheering for both sides at team events, reported Times Online. “If people turn up they will let them take their seats,” Mr Wang said. On August 11 at a press conference, Wang was questioned on why seats in many games were empty. Wang stated that a lot of seats were reserved for sponsors, media and VIP and they did not come. For example they went to games they like and did not go to others. Wang urged that all should respect the rights of these audience to choose the games they want to see.

Times Online, August 12, 2008
Xinhua, August 11, 2008

Olympic Reporting Guideline: Emphasize Positive and Minimize Negative News

Recently the media propaganda department issued a list of requirements and guidelines on news reports about the Olympic games and its opening ceremony. The guideline emphasizes the requirement to report positively about the games. It asks media channels to downplay negative news and even forbids them to report news on subjects such as the designated demonstration sites, attacks of policemen in Xinjiang, or the mishandling of Sichuan earthquake funds.

Source: Boxun, August 8, 2008

Olympics: Four Foreign Protesters Expelled

Four human rights activists from U.K. and U.S. were arrested and expelled from China today. On August 6 at 5:47 a.m., three men and one woman managed to hang two banners on light posts. One banner said “Tibet will be Free”; the other said “One World One Dream Free Tibet”. Per Xinhua News, police arrived within 12 minutes and arrested them.

A spoke person of the Beijing Olympics Committee said: “their behavior is unacceptable and illegal.”

The two British citizens have boarded a Frankfurt-bound plane; the two Americans were flying to San Francisco.

Source: BBC, August 7, 2008

Olympics: China Unblocks Some Websites While Blocking Others

Under widespread complaints from foreign reporters, Beijing opened up a few blocked websites, including Amnesty International, Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and the BBC. This privilege is only for foreigners, not Chinese citizens.

Other sensitive websites such as those of Falun Gong or the Tibetan government in exile remain blocked.

Source: Boxun, August 1, 2008

Olympics: Shanghai Buses Install Surveillance Camera

Security surveillance equipment are being installed on board a total of 68 bus lines with more than 1,620 buses in Shanghai, Xinhua reported. The system has real-time monitoring functions with two infrared cameras at each end of the bus. The installation will be completed on August 5, in time for the Beijing Olympics on August 8.

Source: Xinhuanet, July 25, 2008

China Issues Rebuttal on a Recent Human Rights Report Issued by Amnesty International

China issues rebuttal on report issued by Amnesty International (AI) “Human Rights in China Declining Ahead of Olympics”.

“AI was wearing tinted glasses. None of those who understand China would agree with AI” stated the Foreign Ministry. Liu Jianchao, the spokesperson from the Foreign Ministry warned that: “no one should interfere with China’s internal affairs.” Xiong Lei, Executive Director of the state-run China Society for Human Rights Studies claimed that: “China has never broken its commitments. AI has made its conclusion based on random cases and its conclusion is different from most of the Chinese people.”

Source: BBC, July 29, 2008

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