Dutch reporter Sjoerd den Daas was hauled away on live TV by a Chinese guard during his coverage of the 2022 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.
Den Daas was reporting for the public broadcasting system “Nederlandse Omroep Stichting” (NOS) outside the Bird’s Nest stadium when a Chinese guard with a red armband grabbed him and yelled at him.
“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,” Den Daas said while he was being dragged away, according to Insider.
NOS shared the live recording of the incident on its official Twitter account, along with a caption that reads: “Our correspondent @sjoerddendaas 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.”
As Den Daas was being manhandled, a separate security guard appeared to step in front of the camera to stop the cameraman from recording the incident.
It is unclear why the Dutch journalist was prohibited from reporting. However, NOS Editor-in-Chief Marcel Gelauff called the incident “a painful illustration” of the nation’s declining press freedom.
“Sjoerd has often told and shown that it is difficult as a journalist in China,” Gelauff told Algemeen Dagblad. “There is a far-reaching tendency to curtail freedoms, and this may be even stronger because of corona.”
“I haven’t spoken to Sjoerd yet, but from what I saw on the images, I didn’t think he was in the way,” he added.
In a recent survey conducted by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China, foreign journalists in the East Asian country have faced higher incidents of harassment and intimidation in the last year, including “online trolling, physical assaults, hacking and visa denials, as well as what appears to be official encouragement of lawsuits or threats of legal action against journalists,” according to The Guardian.
The intimidation prompted many foreign news outlets to create emergency exit plans for its journalists who report from the country.