A Dutch journalist was dragged away by a Chinese security official in the middle of a live cross from within the Olympic bubble. The journalist was covering the Beijing Olympic Winter Games which began on February 4 and run until Feb 20.
In footage obtained by The Guardian, Sjoerd den Daas was approached by the officer who forced the news anchor to take back the reigns of the broadcast. Den Daas’ camera operator then zoomed out and hurriedly switched off the lights that were previously illuminating the reporters face, leaving the scene in darkness.
According to Insider who was able to translate the on-air exchange, den Daas could be heard saying “we are now being pulled out of here.”
“We have just been expelled from another area, so I’m afraid we’ll have to come back to you later.”
The International Olympic Committee (OIC) — the group responsible for organising the games set out to assure the public that this was an isolated incident and that something like this wouldn’t happen again.
“Obviously we have been in touch with the NOS, the state broadcaster, and it was an unfortunate circumstance,” IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said as per the ABC.
“I think someone was being overzealous. [den Daas] was able to, very quickly afterwards with the help of officials there, do his piece to camera.
“These things do happen and I think it’s a one-off. 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,” Mr Adams said.
Den Daas later took to Twitter to assure followers that he was okay and voice his concerns in response to Mr Adams’ statement.
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.
— Sjoerd den Daas (@sjoerddendaas) February 5, 2022
“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,” the reporter began.
“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.”
Australia is among a collection of nations to engage in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Games — meaning we’re sending athletes, but not diplomats as is often customary between friendly allies as per the Washington Post.
According to 7News, the boycott is primarily in response to the Chinese government’s internment of an estimated one million Uighur people — a Muslim minority in China.
If you would like to learn more about the Uighur people – Vice produced an excellent doco which you can view here.