LONDON, August 1 /PRNewswire/ --

- BBC, Voice of America, Amnesty International Unblocked

- Comment / Analysis Available From New Media Expert

China has reportedly unblocked banned websites following a growing row about access for journalists covering the Olympic Games.

Blocked sites had included several news websites and those of human rights organisations, including Amnesty International. The BBC's Chinese-language website, Voice of America and Hong Kong's Apple Daily now appear accessible. Some sites still remain blocked, however.

In two statements, the country's president, Hu Jintao, has said that he welcomes reporters and that the Olympic Games will not be politicised: "It is only inevitable that people from different countries and regions may not see eye-to-eye with one another on some different issues."

The IOC has stated: "The IOC has always encouraged the Beijing 2008 organisers to provide media with the fullest access possible to report on the Olympic Games, including access to the internet."

Additional quotes from Martin Warner, a new media expert and co-founder of Technology of Tomorrow:

"It is very encouraging news that China is embracing the freedom of information available on the internet; it is very difficult to control information on the internet due to the viral nature of the web.

"It's important to know that this strategy will be sustained beyond the Olympics. [If it is] I do believe that this move will make China much more competitive on the global stage, and help their positioning considerably as people develop a better understanding of the Chinese."

Press enquiries to Vicky Lyons and Kully Dhadda +44(0)207-233-7578 mb +44(0)7884246858,

Press enquiries to Vicky Lyons and Kully Dhadda +44(0)207-233-7578 mb +44(0)7884246858,