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Chinese authorities drag-off Dutch journalist, forcibly shut down his camera during live broadcast about Winter Olympics

The winter Olympics have been marred by numerous controversies (Photo: IANS)

A Dutch journalist, who was reporting about the Winter Olympics in Beijing, was dragged off by local authorities during a live show and his camera was also shut down forcibly by the authorities.

Sjoerd den Daas — Greater China/East Asia correspondent for Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS), a Dutch media company — was pulled away from the camera by Chinese security guards on Friday during his live show from Beijing about the Winter Olympics. "Our correspondent @sjoerddendaas was pulled away from the camera by security guards at 12:00 pm live in the NOS Journaal," said NOS on Saturday in a tweet sharing the video of the incident.

"Unfortunately, this is increasingly becoming a daily reality for journalists in China," said the publication, adding, "The journalist is now fine and was able to finish his story a few minutes later."

According to NOS, The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has responded to an incident with NOS correspondent Sjoerd den Daas. He was pulled out of the picture by a security guard while he told live in the NOS News about the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. An IOC spokesperson said it was an overzealous guard.

The spokesperson, at the daily press briefing in Beijing, said that an "unfortunate incident tool place involving an overzealous person.

"The reporter was soon able to go back to doing his job in front of the camera. Things like this happen sometimes. Hopefully, this was a one-off. We assure you that you are within the 'closed bubble' can continue to do your job," the IOC told the press present, reported NOS.

The spokesperson also said he had been in contact with the NOS about the incident.

A spokesperson for the NOS, however, says that he is "curious with whom". "Neither the NOS management, nor the News and Sports editors, nor the leadership of our Olympic team in Beijing, nor our correspondent himself spoke to anyone from the IOC about yesterday's incident."

"In recent weeks, like several foreign colleagues, we have been repeatedly obstructed or stopped by the police while reporting on subjects related to the Games," NOS quoted correspondent Den Daas as saying. "Last night's incident is not an isolated incident, but it rarely happens live on the broadcast," Daas added.

The images of the moment that Den Daas is disturbed during his live conversation in the NOS Journaal are now shared by many national and international media.

"The fact that the correspondent still says that he is live on the channel did not impress the Chinese official. Unfortunately, situations like this are increasingly becoming a daily reality for journalists in China," said editor-in-chief of NOS News Marcel Gelauff yesterday. He speaks of "a painful illustration of the state of press freedom in the country. You stay away from journalists."

According to NOS, it asked the Chinese authorities and the IOC to create conditions in which journalists from home and abroad can report on the Olympic Games safely and freely.