May 16, 2008

Human Rights, China, the IOC and the 2008 Olympics

"So much for the guarantees given to the IOC about human rights back when the 2008 games were awarded. Where is the condemnation from sports bodies and the International Olympic Committee now that..."

In an initiative designed to harness the power of Blogosphere and Social Network members, today is the day that tens of thousands of online writers come together to demonstrate unified collaboration in support of the inalienable moral entitlements attached to persons equally by virtue of their humanity. BlogCatalog.com is partnering with Amnesty International to expand a global social awareness campaign for human rights through the launch of this major initiative. Irrespective of race, nationality, or membership of any particular social or political group, all humans are entitled to basic legal and moral rights as recognized by international laws.

In support of this worthy initiative, I draw attention to China’s questionable Human Rights record in this, the Olympic year. When the IOC awarded China the 2008 Olympics, it did so on the condition that it seeks to improve its Human Rights record. What gave the IOC the belief that the Chinese would change is beyond comprehension. China has a pitiful record and the IOC’s decision acts to reinforce and condone this highly negative conduct. I guess the IOC was never one to possess great foresight as it did award the games to Berlin in ’36. Nor has the sports body any regard for perpetuating the virtues of civilized nationhood. It was sympathetic to communism by awarding the 1980 games to the then Soviet Union.

As reported widely, China promised to improve their Human Rights record well advance of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. Since then we have seen a recent and violent crackdown of peaceful dissension in Tibet and other human rights activists and there has been little if any change to policy with respect to previously documented abuses; a mistreatment that remains systematic and widespread. Any dissenting opinions are promptly suppressed, arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment of prisoners, severe restrictions on freedom of expression and association and violations specific to women, continues unabated. Government and political control over its legal systems ensures a continued lack of accountability consequently, abuses go unchecked. According to Amnesty, China currently holds the record for the largest number of imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents. One of the most prominent stories includes journalist Shi Tao, who is serving a 10-year sentence in a Chinese prison for sending an email!

So much for the guarantees given to the IOC about human rights back when the 2008 games were awarded. Where is the condemnation from sports bodies and the International Olympic Committee now that they are regressing on the agreement? Typical is not it, the deafening silence...

Read a letter (PDF) from AIUSA executive director, Larry Cox asking President Bush to urge the Chinese government to fufill its human rights commitment. I find it perplexing that the following sentence graces the page of the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic home page:

The Games have always brought people together in peace to respect universal moral principles.

If the IOC were sincere about this, it would not have awarded the 2008 Olympics to Beijing. I call on the Chinese authorities to make good on their promises and uphold the legacy of the Games.

Comments always appreciated...

13 comments:

Karen said...

Terrific post, Otto. It does boggle the mind as to how China ever won the bid for the Olympics in the first place. Another example that appeasement doesn't work.

WomanHonorThyself said...

agreed my friend but Amnesty Int is appalling when it comes to Israel so I would have to step off where they are concerned...most excellent read as always Otto!

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

I knew when Bejing was announced as the site for the 2008 Olympics that this would be similar to a replay of the 36 Olympics when Hitler hid who and what they were really up to long enough to scam the world into thinking that Nazi Germany was not as bad as many thought.

China is trying the same thing. Hiding the crap and placing a happy face to the world while treating their people worse than cattle in the back ground.

American Interests.blog said...

Karen: Agreed, and appeasemeent will never work!

Angel: I concur with your stance...

American Interests.blog said...

Ken Taylor: Exactly my friend. More of waht they might be concealing will be revealed to us as the games draw closer...

Incognito said...

I too cannot fathom how they won the Olympic bid, considering their gross violations of human rights.

I posted about it on my blog a while back, and on another international blogsite where I received some very interesting comments from Chinese and others who believe that this is about sports and the athletes and basically said "lay off".

American Interests.blog said...

Incog: I recall your post and am glad we're on the same wavelength on this...

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David Schantz said...

Great post. I don't think we'll ever see China change for the better.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

American Interests.blog said...

David: Good to see you here David, thank you...

MK said...

I'm with Angel on Amnesty International, there are enough organizations out there purportedly waffling on about human rights but are actually fronts against the state of Israel.

Yeah it boggles the mind how China got awarded it, perhaps it was just money talking. Then again some have said that this is an opportunity to shine the media's light even brighter inside China. I am skeptical that it'll help, but maybe it'll help. I'm sure the state's censors have their work cut out for them.

Don said...

Hello,

May I suggest a link related to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games?

Our site:

URL: http://www.2008chinaolympics.com
Title: Beijing Olympics

Please let me know if you want a link back.
Many thanks for your reply.

Best Regards,

Don
chinaolympics8@gmail.com

Mberenis said...

LOL that is funny. You will like this site too! 2008 Beijing Olympics