May 7, 2008
Human Rights Watch Special Focus: Beijing 2008
Check out Human Rights Watch's Beijing 2008 website, including, for example, the Agenda for Reform page: Human Rights Abuses Shadow Countdown to 2008 Beijing Games. According to Human Rights Watch, major areas for human rights reform in the Olympic run-up are:
Forced evictions and school closures. The construction of facilities for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing has involved forced evictions of thousands of citizens in and around Beijing, often without adequate compensation or access to new housing. The pre-Olympic “clean-up” of Beijing has resulted in the closure of dozens of officially unregistered schools for the children of migrant workers.
Labor rights abuses. Thousands of migrant workers employed on Olympic and other construction sites across Beijing do not receive legally mandated pay and benefits including labor insurance and days off, and are often compelled to do dangerous work without adequate safeguards.
Repression of ethnic minorities. China continues to use the “war on terrorism” to justify policies to eradicate the “three evil forces” – terrorism, separatism, and religious extremism – allegedly prevalent among Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim population in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Uighurs who express “separatist” tendencies are routinely sentenced to quick, secret and summary trials, sometimes accompanied by mass sentencing rallies. The death penalty is common. In Tibet, Chinese authorities still view the Dalai Lama, in exile in India since 1959, as central to the effort to separate Tibet from China and view Tibetan Buddhist belief as supportive of these efforts. Suspected “separatists,” many of whom come from monasteries and nunneries, are routinely imprisoned.
Controls on religious freedom. China does not recognize freedom of religion outside the state-controlled system in which all congregations, mosques, temples, churches and monasteries must register. The government also curtails religious freedom by designating and repressing some groups as “cults,” such as the Falungong.
The death penalty and executions. The government does not publicize figures for the death penalty, but it is mandated for no fewer than 68 crimes. Though the exact number is a state secret, it is estimated that as many as 10,000 executions are carried out each year.
HIV/AIDS rights advocacy obstruction. Measures to address China’s HIV/AIDS crisis are hampered as local officials and security forces continue to obstruct efforts by activists and grassroots organizations to contribute to prevention and education efforts and to organize care-giving.
Use of house arrest system. Numerous human rights defenders and government critics have been harassed, detained and subject to house arrest. If today’s pattern holds, a pre-Olympic clampdown in the weeks and months before the Games is likely.
Ties with rights violators. China’s close relations with countries linked to severe, ongoing human rights violations are also a serious source of concern. China maintains relations with and provides aid to regimes including Sudan, the site of egregious human rights violations in Darfur, and Burma, whose military junta violently suppresses civilians. China has also not ratified the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights, which it signed in 1998.
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May I suggest a link related to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games?
Title: Beijing Olympics
Please let me know if you want a link back.
Many thanks for your reply.
Posted by: Don | Aug 5, 2008 10:07:04 PM