China’s Olympian Human Rights Deficit

Background reading From China HRW by Phelim Kine;

English version of Phelim Kine’s op-ed “China’s Olympisch gebrek aan mensenrechten,” published in the Dutch magazine Idee (July 2008).

The Olympic torch relay passed through Lhasa on June 21 with precious little hint of respect for the “fundamental ethical values” enshrined in the Olympic Charter. Instead of cheering sports fans, the streets were filled with thousands of police in riot gear surveilling the hand-picked crowds and the foreign journalists flown in specially to cover the event.

These controls are just the latest evidence of how the March 14-15 violence in the Tibetan capital has prompted the most systematic and prolonged crackdown on human rights in China since the June 1989 Tiananmen Massacre. The government broke up peaceful demonstrators criticizing Chinese rule in Tibet, after which violent protests erupted, which in turn gave the government a rationale to invoke when it kicked the foreign media out of the region and launched an intensive security operation involving hundreds of thousands of armed police and military.[continues…]

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