Beijing Games 2008 - Reporters Without Borders website accessible in China for first time since 2003



    MONTREAL, Aug. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders learned today
that its website (www.rsf.org), which has been blocked in China since 2003,
can now be accessed at the Olympic press centre in Beijing and in other parts
of the capital, and in Shanghai. The tests we conducted this morning show that
access to the websites of other international human rights organisation and
foreign news media has also been unblocked both inside and outside the press
centre as a result of protests by foreign journalists accredited to cover the
Olympics.
    "This is good news, of course, but it continues to be unacceptable that
the Chinese government can decide, according to its mood, which websites are
censored and which are accessible," Reporters Without Borders said. "And how
long will these sites be available to the 253 million Chinese Internet users,
who continue to be subject to massive online censorship?"
    The press freedom organisation added: "This partial lifting of censorship
shows that the Chinese government is not completely insensitive to pressure.
If the entire world had been pressuring China since 2001, even before these
games were assigned to Beijing, the situation might have been different today.
And perhaps imprisoned journalists would have been freed before the opening
ceremony.
    Foreign journalists at the press centre in Beijing found late yesterday
that they were able to access Amnesty International's website. The BBC's site,
including its Chinese-language version is also accessible. But it is still
impossible to access the websites of the Falun Gong spiritual movement or
Tibetan organisations. A live online news conference organised today by
Students for a Free Tibet on its website was not accessible in Beijing. The
independent news websites Tibet Post International and Boxun could not be
accessed from within China either. A search for the keyword "Boxun" on the
Chinese-language (google.cn) and English-language versions of Google within
China yielded no results.
    The Chinese-language version of the Reporters Without Borders website
(www.rsf-chinese.org) is also still blocked, as is the website of Chinese
Human Right Defenders (www.crd-net.org).
    Advice for foreign journalists covering the human rights situation in
China was posted on the Reporters Without Borders website on 30 July.

    List of websites accessible both in and outside the Beijing press centre
at 1015 GMT today: BBC :

    - www.bbc.co.uk
    - BBC chinese : www.bbc.co.uk/languages/chinese/
    - RSF (Chinese-language version only inside press centre) : www.rsf.org
    - Amnesty International : www.amnesty.org
    - Human rights watch : www.hrw.org

    List of websites inaccessible both inside and outside press centre:

    - http://crd-net.org
    - http://www.torproject.org/
    - http://www.torproject.org/index.html.ja




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, Executive Director,
Reporters Without Borders Canada, (514) 521-4111, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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