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One year after start of games, Olympic flame extinguished for good, says RSF

(RSF/IFEX) - A year after the Beijing Olympics began on 8 August 2008, Reporters Without Borders regrets that the limited progress China has made in free expression has largely evaporated. Only foreign journalists continue to benefit from measures that were adopted for the Olympic Games. Online censorship and repression of free speech activists have been stepped up in the past year.

"The new openness touted by the organisers of the Beijing Olympics and the International Olympic Committee was just an illusion," Reporters Without Borders said. "The dozens of petition organisers and human rights activists who were jailed for speaking out before and during the games have been joined in prison by lawyers, bloggers and intellectuals who had hoped the Olympic promises would be kept. Their disappointment matches the cynicism displayed by the authorities during the games."

Reporters Without Borders calls for the release of all the Chinese citizens who are being held for speaking out or demanding their rights during the Beijing Olympic Games.

The colossal sums being spent on disseminating the Communist Party of China's official view suggest that authorities have learned the lesson from the protests that accompanied the games. But the party's media control apparatus, the Propaganda Department, does not seem to have learned the lesson from its disastrous decision to cover up the tainted baby formula scandal because of the games. Coverage of public health and general interest issues is still being censored.

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One year after start of games, Olympic flame extinguished for good

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