china rights

News Asia-Pacific

Olympics 'worsening China rights'

Amnesty warned that violations may worsen after the games [GALLO/GETTY]

Human rights group Amnesty International has accused China of breaking a pledge to improve its rights record when it was picked to host the Olympic games.

The group said the government's rights record had in fact worsened, using the games as a pretext to crack down on thousands of activists as part of a campaign to "clean up" Beijing before next week's event.

Amnesty issued a report documenting China's rights violations on Monday and urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and political leaders to openly challenge Beijing on the matter.

IOC blamed

It blamed the IOC for failing to put more pressure on China and for "sending a message that it is acceptable for a government to host the Olympic games in an atmosphere characterised by repression and persecution".

The damning assessment comes just over a week before the Olympics kicks off on August 8, in what China hopes will be a grand showcase of its achievements.

Chinese and Olympic officials have said the Beijing games would help expand freedoms in the communist country but the government has instead used it to muzzle critics in the hope of presenting an image of a harmonious society, Amnesty said in its report.

"Unless the authorities make a swift change of direction, the legacy of the Beijing Olympics will not be positive for human rights in China," it said.

The damning report comes just over a week before the Olympics kicks off [AFP]

"In fact, the crackdown on human rights defenders, journalists and lawyers has intensified because Beijing is hosting the Olympics."

The report documents the use of a "re-education through labour" law to control various types of "offending behaviour" and arbitrary detention for "illegal activities that tarnish the city's image and affect the social order".

It said activists who linked their cause to the games were singled out for action while many others were detained, imprisoned or placed under house arrest.

China has also "increasingly tightened" internet censorship and regulation ahead of the Olympics with journalists at the media centre unable to access certain websites, it said.

"It is very disturbing that Chinese authorities have indulged in such a big crackdown on the activists," Mark Allison, a China researcher for Amnesty, said in Hong Kong.

"These are people who represent many, many more people in China."

The group warned that the pattern of serious human rights violations could "continue or intensify" after the conclusion of the games when China is no longer in the international spotlight.

It urged China to release all prisoners of conscience, stop the arbitrary detention of activists and dissenters, impose a moratorium on the death penalty, allow complete media freedom and account for those killed or detained in Tibet in recent unrest there.

Source: Agencies
Feedback Number of comments : 17

Blame Game..

why is everyone blaming China so much. It wasnt China who turned the world upside down these past 9 years. It is America that should be slapped on the wrist. China has been improving and helping many people. I was very proud of Al-Jazeera before, but now I am seeing that its news is now biased against China. Why so? I am very unimpressed. Thank you.

Tilman PorschΓΌtz
Korea (South)

Facing truth is like drinking milk

News report what is going one. But, what is missing, is any kind of response. To me the olympic idea is one of the most effective cover-ups in history. A perfect event, where the leaders of this world, decide who can join their glory, do some blaming before. Because after all, olympic games are supposed to halt war for the time being, and than celebrate the achievements in the aftermath. Or rather harvest the fruits of all that propaganda effort. Olympics and World Cup are good.



In australia the situation worsened before olympics (?). This campaign for human and tibet rights is predictable, from the moment Peking was choosen. Unfortunately the argument is loosing credibility. Amnesty and other western organisations use a very one-sided aproach. The scale of events and deads in places like irak, the balkan, afghanistan, somalia etc. would otherways see them speak out against western repression , through militairy violence on a relevant scale. (a *lot*)


The Olympics and big money

The only reason(virtually) why China has been awarded these games is MONEY. The Games mean zillions of dollars for , you name them. Examples: all the sports firms(Addidas,Nike,etc) The multinational drinks firms(Coca Cola,Pepsi Cola etc)You can add to the list. In China itself zillions have been made by the people involved with the construction of all that has anything to do with the Games. "The Games bring understanding among the different nations" Yeah!. But nothing to the man in the street!


Its too bad...

Human rights violations, extreme pollution, media/press oppression, can't bring your kids to events, can't wear simular colors (ie. Team Canada stuff) and the worries of some radical group seeking attention by doing something horrible... You couldn't pay me enough to attend the beijing Olympics in China. No how, no way. Which is horrible as I'd love to see the Olympics, just wrong place, wrong time. eh.

United States

Human Rights

Yes China is a major violator of basic human rights, but not unlike most Arab countries in the way they treat women or most of European countries in the way they treat immigrants. Clean your own houses, we all have our problems. I do not agree with a boycott of the games, only of the commercialism. Do not buy the products retail.

United Kingdom

Olympics and freedoms

Hi Fouad, you asked "Will they ask the UK to lift the immunity of the police, social services and other oppressive branches of the government?" There is no immunity for ANYONE in the UK. If they commit an unlawful act they will be put before a court of law and the case tried before a Judge and Jury of peers. I agree that Amnesty International SHOULD make those calls though, even if only to bring the debate into the public eye.



Will Amnesty International ask the UK to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan if they're still in those countries at the next olympics? Will Amnesty ask for the UK to prosecute Blair and Hoon for their crimes? Will they ask the UK to lift the immunity of the police, social services and other oppressive branches of the government? Will they ask the UK to accept basic human rights? I hope they do these things because the UK also needs freedom and human rights.


I agree Sipan. Indeed, China is a country who loves peace the most in the world. The Chinese government has made great efforts for the human right and the development in economy of the world. And now, it is still doing its best to host the Beijing Olympic Games.

Tim Rennie

Why would one ever defend human rights violators? Even in relative terms.

While the UK may be involved in an unpopular war,it still allows its citizens to protest without fear of violence or imprisonment.The issue is not foreign policy, but human rights.Surely a government which doesn't respect the rights of its OWN people is not worthy of hosting.Fouad(Netherlands), your analogy is false,the point is that China has hijacked the event as a means of intensifying violations.You shouldn't let your disdain for the UK's democratic government cloud your disdain for tyranny.

Tim Rennie


I would like to add, it seems to me you have no first hand experience of life in the UK, but I can assure you social services like the NHS are far from oppressive branches of government. Can you elaborate on what you might mean? How you can say that a nation which virtually invented basic human rights (magna carta), a nation whose politcal satire (a true mark the free) is second to none, is lacking them on a par with one of the most notorious violators in modern history, escapes me entirely.


Human Rights

Funny that you would report on the human rights reports on China that come out at the same time that the Palestinians were blasted by the same group for torture and you fail to mention anything on your website. Stop being so bieased.

United States


What on Earth is wrong with all of you? China's silencing of dissent is in itself a terrible violation of human rights. What about their support of the regime in Khartoum? Agreed that other countries, including my own have had serious human rights abuses as well, and they are in fact condemned by Amnesty. In the end, my country (the US) ought to refuse participation in these games along with all other nations in order not to support further abuse of rights and liberties.


china human rights

I agree with Kevin (US). china even defends Sudan in the UN. it is ridiculous to say that china is a supporter of human rights. they are one of the biggest human rights violaters of all time, along with the US, the UK, France, Israel and all other super powers. In fact, practically every government violates human rights (like my own!), either in their own country or in others. Just because amnesty may not criticize the US in Iraq, or Israel in Palestine, it doesn't mean we should ignore china.

Rafael Peres

"China has been improving and helping many people."

Really? So please tell me why the Chinese Government is supporting the Genocide in Darfur and occupating Tibet?

Sierra Leone


it's very riduculous for kevin in United States to call for US and other countries to boycott the games. do you know the meaning of olympics, do you konw the spirit of olympics. and do you have right to blame others when you cannot do it well yourself. and i agree with Sipan and feel disappointed with aljazeera for its bias against China.

Katerina Andreou
United States

Chinas Human Rights

The world keeps appeasing China, which does not improve its human rights, but serves as an incentive for more repressive measures. The U.S. continuously grants MFN trade status, (which with our outstanding debt owned by them, we must), as they send us defective and unsafe products, pirate copyrighted materials and thumb their noses at us. THe IOCC should have known better, and put some restrictions or conditions on giving them the games. Stop coddling them!

Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια: