Aug 12, 2008

More Reasons To Boycott The China Olympics

Steven W. Mosher at Catholic Online explains why he's boycotting the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. In his article "Why I Will Not Be Attending (or watching) The Beijing Olympics", Mosher writes,

"By now, everyone has seen pictures of the beautiful new stadiums that have been built by the Beijing regime. What you won't see are the military camps on the outskirts of Beijing, where units of the People's Armed Police armed with tanks and armored personnel carriers have been placed on high alert. But local observers say that the police and military presence is even greater than that of June 1989, when deadly force was used to put down the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square and a massacre ensued.

The regime is so paranoid of disturbances during the Olympics that it has placed the entire military of the country on stand-by. Not only army, but air force and even naval units, are standing by to put down demonstrations (although it is unclear what role the air force and naval units could play in putting down peaceful demonstrations).

Visitors to Beijing this time around will in all likelihood be spared the sight of tanks crushing unarmed demonstrators and soldiers machine gunning protestors, but they should know that, behind the clean and orderly fa├žade, human rights abuses still proliferate. The streets of Beijing are quiet, but it is the ‘quiet’ of the graveyard. Not only has the Chinese government broken its promises to improve its human rights record prior to the 2008 Olympics, the Games themselves have led this oppressive regime to crack down on dissent on a scale unprecedented since the brutal Cultural Revolution. The Beijing Olympics are becoming a byword for Beijing’s brutality.

The Chinese government holds thousands of political prisoners without charge or trial. These include democracy activists, lawyers, human rights defenders, religious leaders, journalists, trade unionists, Tibetan Buddhists, Uyghurs, ''unofficial'' church members, members of the "underground" Catholic Church, women pregnant with "illegal" children, Falun Gong practitioners, and political dissidents. Name a human right, and Beijing is violating it, probably on a massive scale. We at PRI have held a series of conferences on the human rights situation in China. Our chief problem is finding enough time for all the various groups whose rights have been violated to tell their story".

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