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ITN's John Ray detained in China

British journalist John Ray speaks about his arrest by Chinese officials while covering a protest  for a free Tibet in Beijing.

Also, for additional video footage of Ray being arrested by Chinese officials, visit the BBC Web site.
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Did this journalist act in a prudent fashon?

He WAS with a known terrorist group, conducting illegal protests, and was taken to a nearby restaurant by police who attempted to question him.

According to the news link below, he fought the policemen and tried to run away!

http://us.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/08/13
/olympics.protest/index.html

And below, he is said to have been yelling "to startled diners" in the restaurant.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/aug/13/olympics2008.chinathemedia

Then he was put into a police van, where he was seen to be hanging out the windows yelling (the pictures are online).

In any case, this nutjob was let go in about 20 minutes.

Geez, I was detained in London Heathrow airport for longer than this for having some canned goods in my checked luggage. And I didn't scream out, try to make a scene, nor attempt to escape

Just another tabloid 'journalist' trying to fabricate an incident. He should serve a bit of jail time and be stripped of his credentials as a reporter.

The world needs the real news, not crap like this.

I think you’ve got it wrong, Rusty.

As a former stills photographer, cameraman and tv producer, among other jobs, I’ve been hit, shoved, detained, tear gassed, and a whole lot more in East Africa, the Middle East, Asia and even the mean streets of New York. (And I’ve got a set of stories of a completely different magnitude from two years in Beirut covering the 1982 Israeli invasion and its aftermath.)

The treatment the Beijing cops dished out to Ray is typical of the way they have been treating the press, especially those with tv and still cameras, at these sorts of demonstrations. And Ray is not some “nutjob” as you put it, he’s an experienced reporter who makes his living covering incidents like this when they happen. Unless you’ve been on the receiving end of the wrath of a bunch of angry cops, I wouldn’t get too critical about how someone handles themselves in a situation like that.

The surprising thing to me is how inept the security personnel in Beijing still are. They have been training for months, years most likely, for exactly this sort of thing, and they still respond with the same goonish heavy handidness that only draws more attention to the incident. What would have been ten minutes of a few demonstrators trying to make their point about Tibet becomes an international incident which discredits China and gets replayed around the world for days.

The police response to the media covering these sorts of incidents does more to tarnish China’s reputation than anything the protestors in Beijing have been able to do. And that’s not to mention the fact that China said there would be no restrictions on reporters covering the Games.

"Ray is not some “nutjob” as you put it, he’s an experienced reporter..." "Unless you’ve been on the receiving end of the wrath of a bunch of angry cops, I wouldn’t get too critical about how someone handles themselves in a situation like that."

Ray attempted escape, resisted arrest, fought back against the police, made a huge scene - shouting, etc. He is clearly trying to make his living by CREATING a situation wile breaking the law, and I have a huge problem with that. And if we truly have a Free and Open Press, than I should have a right to question and criticize outright fabrication of a story. In fact, I feel Ray's actions intentionally created a false perception of events that constitute overt propaganda.

"...China said there would be no restrictions on reporters covering the Games."

Including breaking the law? Does America allow all journalists to break the law with impunity? If I resumed my career as a photo-journalist, could I embark on a criminal life and live in absolute anarchy?

"The treatment the Beijing cops dished out to Ray is typical of the way they have been treating the press."

If this is true, then why haven't I read any other reports like this?

"I’ve been hit, shoved, detained, tear gassed, and a whole lot more in East Africa, the Middle East, Asia and even the mean streets of New York. "

If you have endured these things in the persuit of knowing the truth and for the cause of reporting the facts, then you have my admiration, respect, and thanks.

However if, like Ray, your seek to get YOUR face on the front page, and seek to inflame hot-button issues in the mode of a tabloid journalist - then you don't!