Monday, April 07, 2008

China Crackdown on Human Rights Intensifying Before 2008 Olympics

The human rights organization Amnesty International recently published a report documenting the intensifying campaign of repression by Chinese authorities before the opening of the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing later this year.

According to the report, entitled "The Olympics countdown – crackdown on activists threatens Olympics legacy":

"It is increasingly clear that much of the current wave of repression is occurring not in spite of the Olympics, but actually because of the Olympics. Peaceful human rights activists, and others who have publicly criticised official government policy, have been targeted in the official pre-Olympics ‘clean up’, in an apparent attempt to portray a ‘stable’ or ‘harmonious’ image to the world by August 2008. Recent official assertions of a terrorist’ plot to attack the Olympic Games have given prominence to potential security threats to the Olympics, but a failure to back up such assertions with concrete evidence increases suspicions that the authorities are overstating such threats in an attempt to justify the current crackdown."

"Several peaceful activists, including those profiled in this series of reports, remain imprisoned or held under tight police surveillance. Despite some high profile releases, many more have been detained over the last six months for doing nothing more than petitioning the authorities to address their grievances or drawing international attention to ongoing human rights violations. Several of those detained have reportedly been subjected to beatings and other forms of torture or other ill-treatment. Those who have linked China’s human rights responsibilities to its hosting of the Olympics have been among the most harshly treated."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:24 pm


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