Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
Just one day after the opening ceremonies of the 2022 Winter Olympics, an image emerged that supported the position of those who argued China was a poor choice to host the Olympics.
Saturday, Dutch journalist Sjoerd den Daas, who was attempting to give a live report for the network NOS, was accosted then forcibly pushed off camera by a plain-clothes man with a red armband that identified him as a volunteer.
Onze correspondent @sjoerddendaas werd om 12.00u live in het NOS Journaal door beveiligers voor de camera weggetrokken. Helaas is dit steeds vaker de dagelijkse realiteit voor journalisten in China. Hij is in orde en kon zijn verhaal gelukkig een paar minuten later afmaken pic.twitter.com/GLTZRlZV96
— NOS (@NOS) February 4, 2022
The Chinese government has thus far been mum on the subject, and the International Olympic Committee has taken a serious, though ultimately forgiving, stance.
“These things do happen, and I think it’s a one-off,” Mark Adams, an IOC spokesperson said. “I hope it’s a one-off, and we will assure you that within the closed loop you will be able to carry on your work.”
The aggrieved reporter, however, indicates that such actions have been common in the “closed loop” – the system of fences and security guards employed by China to keep athletes and foreign media away from residents of China – and that security guards have been slapdash in their enforcement.
In a s series of tweets that were translated by the New York Daily News, den Daas said, “When asked, they couldn’t say what we had done wrong. In recent weeks, we, like several foreign colleagues, have been hindered or stopped several times by the police while reporting on subjects related to the Games. Therefore, it’s hard to see last night’s incident as an isolated incident, as the IOC claims, although such interference rarely happens live on broadcast. And now back to work.”
According to den Daas, he and his crew had originally been instructed to film at the location from which he was removed, and the team were allowed to complete their filming a few minutes later.
The fact that den Daas was allowed to restart his work seems to have assuaged the concerns of the IOC.
“Obviously, we have been in touch with the NOS, the state broadcaster, and it was an unfortunate circumstance,” IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said. “I think someone was being overzealous. [The reporter] was able to, very quickly afterwards with the help of officials there, do his piece to camera.”