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Saturday, October 02, 2004

 

Websites critical of Beijing Olympics

Reporters Without Borders has launched a website calling for a boycott of the Beijing 2008 Olympics. The Paris-based media watchdog said the PRC had failed to improve its rights record since being controversially awarded the Games in 2001:

History has shown that totalitarian regimes are more sensitive to a balance of power than to 'constructive dialogue'. A boycott therefore seems the only strategy to force Chinese authorities to respect human rights before 2008.

The Olympic movement was discredited in 1936, when it allowed the Nazis to make the Games a spectacle to glorify the Third Reich. In 1980, in Moscow, the IOC suffered a terrible defeat when more than 50 countries boycotted the Olympics.

In 2008, the international sporting movement must refuse to tolerate one of the world's bloodiest dictatorships. The People's Republic of China is the world's biggest prison for the press. Twenty-seven journalists and more than 60 Internet users are detained for crimes of opinion.

New York-based Human Rights Watch also launched a China Olympic Watch website. While refraining from calling for a boycott, the group also said China had failed to make progress on human rights:

China continues to have serious human rights problems. As China enters the
global arena, the 2008 Beijing Olympics will provide an opportunity for China to
come into compliance with international legal standards that protect human
rights.

While recent leadership changes have sparked some optimism that respect
for human rights in China will improve, in fact this has not happened.


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