Winter Olympics: TV reporter dragged away by Chinese security official live on air

China has been widely criticised for its treatment of free and foreign press

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Saturday 05 February 2022 08:39 GMT
Dutch reporter removed from Beijing Winter Olympics live on TV

A TV reporter was manhandled and dragged away by a Winter Olympics security official live on air during a broadcast from Beijing.

Sjoerd den Daas was accosted by the official, who was wearing a red armband, as he worked for Dutch broadcaster NOS covering the games.

The journalist tried to continue broadcasting as the official pushed him away from the camera, before the TV station cut back to the studio.

The TV station took to Twitter to say that the reporter was “fine” and he returned to the air minutes later to complete his broadcast.

“Our correspondent (den Daas) was pulled away from the camera by security guards at 12:00 pm live in the NOS Journaal. Unfortunately, this is increasingly becoming a daily reality for journalists in China. He is fine and was able to finish his story a few minutes later,” they wrote.

It is not clear what caused Chinese officials to take action, but the broadcast came from a public street outside the Bird’s Nest Stadium, where the opening ceremony was taking place.

Foreign media in China to cover the Winter Olympics are subject to strict restrictions, including mandatory use of a health-monitoring app and daily PCR test to check for Covid-19.

Some journalist were told by their companies to leave their cell phones at home and instead use burner phones to wiped of all personal information to protect their digital privacy.

The FBI also warned athletes competing in the games to leave their phones and laptops at home to avoid “malicious cyber activities.”

“The FBI urges all athletes to keep their personal cell phones at home and use a temporary phone while at the games. The National Olympic Committees in some Western countries are also advising their athletes to leave personal devices at home or use temporary phones due to cybersecurity concerns at the Games,” the agency said in a notice.

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