For Immediate Release
China: Hosting Olympics a Catalyst for Human Rights Abuses
IOC and World Leaders Fail to Challenge Great Leap Backward for Rights in China
New York - The hosting of the 2008 Beijing Olympics has set back the clock for the
respect of human rights in the People's Republic of China, Human Rights
Watch said ahead of the Games' closing ceremony in Beijing on Sunday,
August 24. Over the past year Human Rights Watch has monitored and
documented extensive human rights violations directly linked to the
preparation and the hosting of the Games.
"The 2008 Beijing Games have put an end - once and for all - to the
notion that these Olympics are a ‘force for good,'" said Sophie
Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. "The reality
is that the Chinese government's hosting of the Games has been a
catalyst for abuses, leading to massive forced evictions, a surge in
the arrest, detention, and harassment of critics, repeated violations
of media freedom, and increased political repression."
Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic
Committee (IOC), told Reuters in August 2007 that, "We believe the
Games are going to move ahead the agenda of the social and human rights
as far as possible, the Games are going to be a force for good."
Human Rights Watch pointed out that, to the contrary, the
Chinese government has consistently violated its Olympics-related human
rights commitments. In addition, the International Olympic Committee
has failed in its duty to ensure that the government fulfilled those
pledges. The Chinese government's unrelenting campaign during the Games
to squelch legal peaceful protests, limit media freedom, and restrict
the internet access of journalists reinforces the urgent need for the
IOC to establish a permanent mechanism to monitor the human rights
performance and compliance of future Olympic host countries.
"Not a single world leader who attended the Games or
members of the IOC seized the opportunity to challenge the Chinese
government's behavior in any meaningful way," Richardson said. "Will
anyone wonder, after the Games are over, why the Chinese government
remains intransigent about human rights?"
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Something is Happening. People are Drawing Lines.
And We’ve Got It Covered.
But we can't do it without you. Please support our Winter Campaign.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.