(PresidentialInsider.com)- While covering the Beijing Olympics last Friday, a Dutch reporter was physically manhandled by Chinese guards during a live shot and forced off the air.
Sjoerd den Daas, the Greater China/East Asia correspondent for NOS Journal was dragged off-camera by Chinese guards as he was reporting live from the Olympics. Den Dass was saying that they had been expelled from another area, then as he is interrupted, said they were being pulled out again, telling the presenters he would have to report back later.
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
According to the UK Daily Mail, the reporter was accosted by a man in a black jacket with a red armband indicating he was a “Public Security Volunteer,” a citizen-led group established to help the police maintain order.
While nobody seemed to know what specifically den Daas had done to prompt such a response, NOS Journal confirmed that he was able to continue his live reporting a few minutes later.
According to the Mail, some believe the problem wasn’t with what den Daas was reporting, but with where he chose to do his live hit. Instead of using the backdrop of the “glamorous Bird’s Nest stadium” den Daas committed the crime of reporting from “an unphotogenic location” by standing on a poorly-lit street.
Marcel Gelauff, NOS editor-in-chief said the incident was a “painful illustration” of how the foreign press is treated in Communist China. He told the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that den Daas has often described how difficult it is to be a journalist in China where there is “a far-reaching tendency to curtail freedoms.” And this has only gotten worse during the COVID pandemic.
But if Beijing wanted to maintain the façade of a shiny, happy Olympic Games, having a video of them manhandling a reporter on live television go viral on social media isn’t going to help.