The 2022 Winter Olympic Games are underway in China. Many nations are staging diplomatic boycotts of the Olympics in protest of Chinese Communist Party policies and years of allegations of human rights violations. President Joe Biden and the United States joined in on the symbolic gesture.
People around the world wondered how China would deal with free speech issues at the Olympics. Their system of informing the public is much more tightly controlled and censored than what Americans and most Europeans are used to. That attitude was on display shortly after the games began.
Sjoerd den Daas, a dutch reporter for public broadcast outlet NOS, was doing a live shot from the Olympics. On live television, Chinese officials can be seen physically removing him from the shot. NOS tweeted about the incident (translated from Dutch).
“Our correspondent @sjoerddendaas was pulled away from the camera by security guards at 12:00 pm live in the NOS Journaal. Unfortunately, this is increasingly becoming a daily reality for journalists in China. He is fine and was able to finish his story a few minutes later.“
Many countries that sent representatives to the games urged travelers not to carry any personal electronic devices to the communist nation. There were fears that the CCP might use the devices to collect data and perform surveillance. Team USA encouraged athletes to use “burner phones.”
It’s unclear exactly what the Chinese officials thought the reporter was doing wrong. It probably won’t be the last time we see something like this coming out of the Olympics. The incident has opened up a whole new conversation about China’s grip over its citizens.
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