The 2022 Beijing Olympics officially kicked off Friday, and there's already footage of a reporter being physically pulled away from his live shot while covering them.
Sjoerd den Daas, a journalist with the Dutch broadcaster NOS, was reporting on the opening ceremony when Chinese officials could be seen coming up to him to physically remove him from the area, Mediaite reports. He continued reporting as an official grabbed him before the shot was cut.
"Our correspondent @sjoerddendaas was pulled away from the camera by security guards at 12:00 pm live in the NOS Journaal," NOS said. "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."
It wasn't clear why the guards were pulling the reporter away, but NOS editor-in-chief Marcel Gelauff told Algemeen Dagblad that this incident was a "painful illustration" of how China treats journalists, adding, "Sjoerd has often told and shown that it is difficult as a journalist in China. There is a far-reaching tendency to curtail freedoms, and this may be even stronger because of corona," per The Daily Beast.
The Olympics began Friday despite diplomatic boycotts from countries including the United States over what the White House described as China's "ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses," referring to its treatment of Uyghurs. Last year, an independent tribunal said China has carried out a "deliberate, systematic and concerted policy" to achieve a "long-term reduction of Uyghur and other ethnic minority populations."
During the opening ceremony, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said he was appealing to "all political authorities across the world" to "give peace a chance."