Friday, October 27, 2006

Green Olympics…Hmmm!

It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that Beijing was astutely painting the grass green to meet the IOC inspection’s criteria as they were bidding for the Games—that was easy enough to do although unusual and deviated. But the pollution monster caught up with them and is not going away on its own--athletes are worried that the air quality will affect their performance. Maybe they should just stay home. Nevertheless, to curb the problem Beijing is getting creative and will go as far as closing ‘beauty salons’ during the 2008 Olympics. See what else they plan on doing…

Energy Tribune: Even weirder is this: Chinese citizens from other provinces or cities will need approval from their local governments if they want to travel to Beijing during the Games, a move reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) when China enforced similar laws that restricted travel within the country. Given all these measures, Beijing may not need other environmental protection regulations, as it appears the city will be shutting down in order to run the Games and comply with the environmental decrees. (more)

Don't hold your breath--the Beijing miracle will last only from August 8 until the 24th, give or take a few days--then the same old problems will come out of the closet to haunt the populace. And that is China!

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

What does 'Never Again' mean?

The free world needs to sober up and take action sooner than later for peace's sake. 'Harmonious society' and 'never again' have become mere code words for decadent corruption and selective amnesia. Dictatorships are playing games with peoples' lives ... when will it stop? Take a stand for justice and liberty now--history doesn't have to repeat itself.

Nazi Olympics, Berlin, 1936

For two weeks in August 1936, Adolf Hitler's Nazi dictatorship camouflaged its racist, militaristic character while hosting the Summer Olympics. Softpedaling its antisemitic agenda and plans for territorial expansion, the regime exploited the Games to bedazzle many foreign spectators and journalists with an image of a peaceful, tolerant Germany. Having rejected a proposed boycott of the 1936 Olympics, the United States and other western democracies missed the opportunity to take a stand that--some observers at the time claimed--might have given Hitler pause and bolstered international resistance to Nazi tyranny. With the conclusion of the Games, Germany's expansionist policies and the persecution of Jews and other "enemies of the state" accelerated, culminating in World War II and the Holocaust.

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

The Timetable of the Entire Fascist Strategy

Rira bien qui rira le dernier. Jiang and the gang seem to think that the Party is not over... yet! As Hu Jintao is making every possible effort to clean out the Jiang faction from the Party to assert his own power before the next Congress, Professor Yuan examines theCCP’s entire Fascist strategy.

1. Before the 2008 Olympic Games

During this period of time, the CCP primarily proposes to instigate and propel nationalism. At the same time, it will try hard to ensure a relatively stable social climate and maintain the present state so that it can push fanatical nationalism to a climax using the competitive environment of the Olympic Games.

2. For Two Years After the 2008 Olympic Games

The CCP will eliminate opposing voices inside its system. The CCP will solve its political crisis through severe political pressure. It will comprehensively oppress opposing groups, defined by the CCP as Falun Gong, political dissidents, and underground Christians. (more)

Countless innocent Chinese people are being mistreated to accommodate Beijing's great dream of the so-called Green sad.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tibet survivors recall shootings at border pass

Radio Free Asia (via China Post) has reported that 50 Tibetans are detained at the Chinese border in their attempt to seek religious and political freedom. Already the Chinese authorities say the troops opened fire in self-defense. How do they expect people to believe this non-sense? The brutal dictatorship is relentless, is not improving and is showing its true colours in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics--one more reason to boycott the Games.

Take a look at the video here showing CCP troops shooting the Tibetans like dogs.

Taipei Times: SECRET TREK: Some of the 41 refugees who survived after Chinese border guards opened fire on them talked about their experience at a news conference in India.
Advertising For 17 days they waded through Himalayan snowdrifts and climbed ice-covered rocky terrain, cold, hungry and exhausted. Then came the shooting.

Early on Sept. 30, as 75 Tibetan refugees were making a secret trek across the border into Nepal, moving in single file across a mountain slope near the 5,800m high Nanpa La Pass, Chinese border guards opened fire.

One woman -- a 25-year-old Buddhist nun -- was killed immediately, group members said. Chinese officials, in a statement apparently about the shooting, have said a second person also died.

"There was no warning of any kind. The bullets were so close I could hear them whizzing past," Thubten Tsering, a Tibetan monk, told journalists in New Delhi on Monday. "We scattered and ran."

Thubten is among 41 of the refugees who survived the shooting and reached India. The survivors said they do not know the fate of 32 others, including nine children, who were taken into custody by the guards.

"We don't know where they are or what happened to them," said Thubten, his chapped cheeks and exhausted face still bearing the scars of the ordeal.

Tibetan refugee Lobsang Choeden, left, answers a question at a media interaction organized by the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy as refugees Dolma Palkyid, center, and Thupten Tsering look on, in New Delhi on Monday.

Footage of the incident, shot by a Romanian cameraman on a mountaineering expedition, sparked an international outcry.

The footage, which was released by Romania's Pro TV, shows a distant figure that its narrator says is a Chinese border guard firing a rifle and a separate scene of a person in a line of figures walking through the snow then falling to the ground. An unidentified man near the camera can be heard saying in English, "They are shooting them like, like dogs."

The activist group International Campaign for Tibet, in a written statement, said the video proves Chinese troops fired at unarmed Tibetans and counters a statement from Beijing that its forces were attacked and fired in self-defense.

The pass is a common escape route for fleeing Tibetans.

Thousands have left for Nepal since Chinese forces occupied their Himalayan homeland in 1951. Many make their way to the north Indian town of Dharmsala, the home of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Every year more than 2,500 Tibetan refugees attempt the arduous trek, said Tenzing Norgay of the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, which arranged the Monday news conference for the survivors.

When asked about his life in a monastery in Tibet where the monks are under the constant watch of Chinese security forces and under pressure to denounce the Dalai Lama, Thubten said simply: "It was stifling."

"Being a monk who has taken a vow to live by the faith, we were always under threat from the Chinese political authorities," he said.

Dolma Palkyid, a 15-year-old novice nun, was a close friend of Kelsang Nortso, the nun who was killed.

"I had walked ahead and we got separated. Then the shooting took place and we fled. It was four days later that I heard Kelsang was the one who was shot," she said, speaking haltingly and tearfully, through an interpreter.

Once in India, the friends were hoping to join another Buddhist nunnery together, said the red-cheeked teenager dressed in a traditional ankle-length gown.

The group of Tibetan refugees had each paid 5,000 yuan (US$625) to a guide to arrange the trip. They set off around the middle of last month, assured that the 10-day trek would deliver them to Nepal.

There have been instances of refugees being shot at by border guards in the past, but this was the first time in recent years that troops killed any, Tenzing said of the human rights group.

"This is the first time that the world has seen evidence of what Tibetans are subjected to by the Chinese," Tenzing said.

"Kelsang's death cannot go in vain. We will use this incident and the video footage to bring international pressure on China and press for Tibetan freedom," he said.

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Christianity: renewed human rights concerned in China

The face of Christianity presented to the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury during his visit to China recently is the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ version. The untold story follows and it is shocking. Wouldn’t we be glorifying this oppressive regime by going to the 2008 Olympics where incessant human rights violations persist?

Spero News: Renewed human rights concerns in China
After the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, concluded his visit to China, grave human rights concerns have begun emerging, with the charging of a leading advocate for religious freedom and renewed fears over the death sentence of a church leader.

Gao Zhisheng, a prominent human rights lawyer who has fearlessly defended religious freedom, has been charged with 'inciting subversion of state power'. His lawyer, Mo Shaoping, received the notification of the decision to charge Gao on 12 October after weeks of silence following Gao's removal by a dozen security officers on 15 August.

Official notification of his arrest was only given to his wife over a month later on 21 September and he has been repeatedly denied access to his lawyer. According to his lawyer, the charge means Gao may be facing years in prison. The measures taken against Gao for his peaceful activities have been met by international censure.

Gao, dubbed 'China's hero of 2005', has been a leading champion of religious freedom, defending important cases, including the prominent case of Beijing house church leader Pastor Cai Zhuohua. He has published reports and open letters over abuses of religious and other freedoms, including the mistreatment of Christians in Xinjiang and, most notably, the violations against the Falun Gong.

His fearless pursuit of justice and his open letters to Chinese leaders have incurred the ire of the authorities and Gao has received a number of threats to his life and security, including being the target of several attempted 'accidents'.

Meanwhile concern is mounting for church leader Xu Shuangfu and others who were sentenced to death in June for serious crimes after a trial in which Xu and others testified of horrific torture used to extract confessions.

Xu, the leader of The Three Grades of Servants, described how he was hung in the air for five hours and how interrogators tied his fingers, toes and genitals with wire connected to an electrical supply. The defendants showed the judge the injuries from torture but received no response.

Besides the violence against Xu himself, the female leaders amongst the group of 17 sentenced were stripped before being tortured by male interrogators and placed in male cells where they were gang raped by the prisoners.

The fears for Xu's life and those sentenced to death with him are imminent and grave. CSW is urging for a retrial at which evidence obtained through torture is excluded.

The torture and abuses against Xu's group were even worse than those used against the South China Church when the authorities sentenced the leader Pastor Gong Shengliang and others to death in 2001. After an outcry by the US President and others the cases were reviewed and Pastor Gong's sentence was changed to a life sentence. Pastor Gong remains in prison, where he has been beaten so severely that he has slipped into a coma and his life has been at risk on a number of occasions.

In another court decision in June this year, one of the most important Christian leaders in China, Pastor Zhang Rongliang, who has already spent 12 years in prison for his faith, was sentenced to seven and a half years imprisonment, despite severe health problems, under what is believed to be religious persecution in the guise of passport-related crimes.

The contrast between the official view of religious freedom presented to the Archbishop and the reality of life for China's Christians as a whole is striking.

While the Archbishop has been hosted by the governmental and official church bodies, Christian leaders are languishing in prison for practising their faith. Christians still face imprisonment, hard labour, torture, fines and other persecution and harassment simply for choosing to live out their Christian faith.

The picture presented to the Archbishop by his hosts should therefore not be seen as representative of Christianity in its fullness in China. The vast majority of China's estimated 70 million Christians will not associate themselves with the bodies by which the Archbishop was hosted.

These Christians see the official church as being compromised in theology and practice and the existence of a church controlled by an atheist state as being fundamentally contrary to Christian doctrine.

While China seeks to present a picture of religious progress, reports indicate it is instead implementing a fresh programme to persecute the house churches.

Tina Lambert, Deputy National Director of Christian Solidarity Worldwide said: "If China wants to present a true depiction of religious freedom and progress she needs to provide genuine religious freedom for all."

The severe measures taken against proponents of religious freedom and religious leaders provide a very different picture from the official one presented to the Archbishop. Chinese officials cannot credibly claim to be showing the Archbishop the face of Christianity in China when they suppress the majority of churches in the country and punish those who refuse to come under state control. This is not religious freedom and China must not be credited with protection of the right until it starts to behave in accordance with international guarantees and releases all those held due to their peaceful religious activities."

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

China's military buildup must be checked

Robert Henderson gives an excellent overview of the military ambitions of Communist China and weighs in the consequences. Hu Jintao’s “harmonious society” slogan is only words--the cold war is real. This kind of environment is less than ideal for the 2008 Olympics and goes against the Olympic Charterwe need to voice our concerns to the IOC that this is not acceptable.

Taiwan Journal: Excerpt - The Chinese defense budget has been growing at a double-digit growth rate in recent years, and the 2006 budget for defense was almost a 15-percent increase over the previous year. China's modernization of the PLA has led to a growing demand for new high-tech weapons systems, purchases of which have almost quadrupled between 1999 and 2005, according to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. Moreover, the U.S. Pentagon has reported that these foreign weapons purchases are funded separately from the official defense budget....

Europe implemented its prohibition on arms sales to China in June 1989 as a response to the Tiananmen Massacre, when government forces slaughtered thousands of peaceful protesters calling for democracy in China, and the subsequent crackdown on human rights in that country. More recently, there has been international concern over China's rapid military buildup and the passage in March 2005 of its Anti-Secession Law, as well as the adverse impact these measures have had on regional stability….

Other North American critics of lifting the arms embargo are concerned about Beijing's widespread human rights abuses, and point to alleged acts of physical cruelty against Falun Gong practitioners in China. The Chinese government recently enacted restrictive regulations forcing foreign news agencies that distribute news reports to Chinese media outlets to censor their reports on China's economy and society. Both American and E.U. critics have expressed strong opposition to these new censorship rules as a further example of the human rights abuses that are rampant on the mainland…

In recent years, Chinese leaders such as Premier Wen Jiabao have repeatedly described the E.U. weapons embargo as "a relic of the Cold War" and "political discrimination" while suggesting that its abolition would open the way for a more stable political environment between China and Europe. Leading up to Wen's attendance at the summit in Helsinki, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, Li Ruiyu, reiterated these charges and denounced the arms ban as "discriminatory."…

At the same time, the Pentagon, in its 2006 annual report to the U.S. Congress on China's military power, noted that the rapid military buildup of its PLA forces in the near term appeared to be focused on preparing for contingencies for action in the Taiwan Strait, including ways of dealing with U.S. intervention. In addition, the PLA military buildup could also be used elsewhere in the region, such as to deal with low-level conflicts over resources and territory like the offshore oil deposits and East China Sea islands claimed by China, Japan and Taiwan. (more)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Video: Chinese pensioners protest

Concerns remain over China's human rights record in the run up to the 2008 Games, and now Channel 4 News has witnessed elderly demonstrators being beaten by police as they objected to power transformers for the Olympic park being built near their homes. Watch the report

As the demonstration started, the police weighed in with sticks, hitting old men around the neck and shoulders. A woman screeched, "Stop beating him!" as they manhandled her friend. A policeman roughly shoved her into a hedge, shouting, "Shut up!" Several elderly people were briefly hospitalised; four were arrested.

The Chinese government is especially sensitive to pro tests relating to the Olympics. The 2008 Games will be China's showcase, its chance to shine on the world stage. But instead of looking after those whose lives will be disrupted by construction of the facilities, the police, in this case, chose to ignore and then tried to silence them.

The pensioners say it is an honour to have the Olympics on their doorstep, but they object to the lack of consultation. "It is against the Beijing Olym pic themes - Green Olympics, People's Olympics, High-tech Olym pics," said Professor Wang. "It's against the basic Olympic principles." (more)

"Olympic organisers in China will be judged on more than their buildings in the run up to the Olympics."
Let's hope there is some truth to that--let's be pro-active and send the IOC a reminder.

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Interview with IOC Member Kevan Gosper

Stephen McDonell puts IOC member Kevan Gosper on the spot with a few questions related to possible human rights protests during the Beijing Olympics. After the shooting of last week, there are strong indications that the Tibetan leaders are proposing to campaign strongly for their cause—will the fearless Falun Gong unfurl yellow banners at the Olympic venues to protest the persecution as well? And how will the authorities react? Let’s remind the IOC that Beijing should live up to their promise of improving human rights in the run-up to the Olympics.

Excerpt - ABC Online - Australia:

STEPHEN MCDONELL: With the world's eyes on Beijing, to what do degree do you think that the leadership here might be worried that groups like Falun Gong will try and use the Olympics as a platform to protest?

KEVAN GOSPER: We don't think they will, but you would expect me to say that we're here in terms of sport - the Olympic Games - that's the preoccupation for the Chinese.

Matters such as you mentioned are really of concern for the government themselves. I don't expect this will come into our conversation at all.

STEPHEN MCDONELL: But do you think that it's something the Olympic movement is aware of, that there may be groups who would try and use this as a time to protest against the Chinese government?

KEVAN GOSPER: We think its the responsibility of the host government to address matters which are of their concern and we know that the Chinese will take all this into account.

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Do you think its going to be a dilemma for the Chinese government that if someone like Falun Gong was to stage a protest outside the main Olympic stadium, they've got to make a decision. Do we start locking people up or do we just let this go?

KEVAN GOSPER: I think I've answered your question on this.

STEPHEN MCDONELL: You don't think that will be a dilemma for them?

KEVAN GOSPER: No, I'm sorry. If you want me to come back to telling you on the progress of the games how I think they're going, I have done and can do that.

But I'm not here to express my views on political matters, which fall outside of our remit.

MARK COLVIN: Kevan Gosper fencing with our China Correspondent Stephen McDonell. (more)

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

China unfit host

Terry Kerr Lincoln shares some of her insights about human rights violations committed by the Chinese regime in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics. China’s darkest secrets are out in the open and she paints a very damning picture. Why support the brutal dictatorship by going to the Olympics?

Red Orbit: "By allowing Beijing to host the games, you will help the development of human rights," Liu Jingmin, now vice-president of the Beijing Olympic Bid Committee, said in 2001.

Events have proved this to be a lie. The reality is one of continuation of the labour camps, arbitrary detention and torture, oppression in occupied Tibet and of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, detention of internet dissidents at times aided by Yahoo and Google, greater restraints on press freedom, increased internet controls, and the passing of legislation threatening the destruction of democratic Taiwan.

The Olympic construction programme has seen the forced eviction of citizens without compensation, associated corruption and graft, and the persecution of any who dissent.

Lately, there are revelations of state-sanctioned organ harvesting of executed prisoners and Falun Gong followers, and reports of the shooting of Tibetans fleeing oppression.

The Olympic Charter speaks of promoting a society concerned with the preservation of human dignity. The International Olympic Committee should stop counting the dollars, show some morality, follow its stated values and reverse the decision to award the Olympics to Beijing.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

One-Party Rule's No Fun

The NY Inquirer gives a quick update on recent rights violations in China--this is just the tip of the iceberg really. As Amnesty International USA Advocacy Director for Asia and the Pacific T Kumar puts it "In spite of promises to improve human rights, China continues to account for upwards of 80% of all executions in the world," and on a large scale uses their organs for sale. At this rate, the only world record China is guaranteed to earn at the 2008 games will be for the world's champion of executions.” Sixty-eight capital crimes are punishable by the death penalty in China. Let the IOC what is going on--they have no idea!

Any dicussion of China would be incomplete without sufficient mention of human rights violations. There's the case of Zhao Yan, made quite public in the States by the New York Times, but it's hardly emblematic of the systematic abuses regularly carried out. A few instances:

Seok Jae-hyun, a South Korean journalist was sentenced to two years in prison on charges of “trafficking in human beings” after he photographed Korean refugees boarding boats for South Korea. China regularly refuses to honor its commitment under the UN Refugee Convention to allow refugees access to refugee determination procedures.

Lobsang Dhondup, a Tibetan, was executed only hours after his trial for “causing explosions” despite repeated reassurances to the U.S. and EU that his case would receive a “lengthy review.” Amnesty International recorded at least 726 executions in 2004 though they believe the true number to be much higher.

Shaheer Ali, a member of the Muslim Uighur ethnic minority who fled to Nepal and was granted refugee status by the UN, was forcibly returned to China where he was executed for “terrorist offenses.” Before his death he secretly provided testimony in which he describes being beaten and kicked unconscious and given electrical shocks during a previous detention. China has repeatedly used the “war on terrorism” to justify harsh repression of the restive Uighurs.

Deng Shiying died the day of her release from prison where she was serving a seven-year sentence for disseminating information regarding persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. According to Falun Gong, immediately before her release, prison officials prompted other inmates to beat her. Since 1999 more than 800 people detained in connection with Falun Gong have died as a result of abuse or torture.

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The frugal games - NOT!

It’s ironic that China, still referred to as a third world country, is hosting the most expensive Olympics ever. While 2/3 of the populace is as poor as a church mouse, Beijing is spending the big bucks on military arsenals, space programs and, of course, Olympic sites—what is wrong with this picture? Countless peasants have lost their homes to make room for the Olympics venues--villages have disappeared overnight. It’s not too late to object--send a letter to the IOC. If enough concerned people can put Beijing in the spotlight, it is bound to make a difference.

Beijing, China (AHN) - A total of $ 59.5 billion have been earmarked by the Chinese Capital for infrastructure for the next Olympic Games, Xinhua News Agency reported Monday. (more)

Another report said: Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games or BOCOG held a seminar on Monday to further emphasize the principle of "frugal Olympics", set by the central government. The committee's executive vice-president, Liu Jingming, said his organization will invite experts to look through the operational budgets for the Olympic games in order to save investment and prevent corruption. 2007 will be a crucial year for event preparations. The opening and closing ceremonies are in the works, and planning for the torch relay is also taking place. 28 Olympic test events are also scheduled, starting next summer. (more)

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Coach beats Chinese marathon runner

Chinese athletes often have to endure years of punishing training in boot camp conditions and remain silent. Doping among athletes is another problem to add to the list. Let’s write to the IOC and tell them this is tarnishing the Olympic spirit.

BEIJING, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Banned Chinese marathon runner Sun Yingjie has claimed she left her coach, Wang Dexian, because he beat her severely with a belt, local media reported on Wednesday.

Wang, former head coach of China's athletics team, was banned from coaching for life by Chinese sports authorities in January, after Sun -- 10,000 metre bronze medallist at the 2003 world championships -- tested positive for the steroid androsterone after a domestic race meeting last October under his training.

Sun, one of China's brightest track hopefuls for the 2008 Olympics, was also banned for two years, but has continued training in the hope of competing at the Beijing Olympics.

Sun said she split from her coach after he lashed her with a buckled belt, the Beijing News reported.

"He hit me and called me an ungrateful thing. In over 10 years of beatings, this was the most vicious one," she told state television.

"My back was bruised all over. I could not dare to change my clothes, I simply could not take them off. At the time, I felt that the Olympics and my dreams were no longer important. I felt life was too tiring." (more)

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

China, NK, and nukes

How convenient:NK is trying to please China again! Resa LaRu Kirkland has his own version of the facts.

Don’t forget to write your comments to the IOC about this—China’s support of NK’s nuttiness doesn’t quite reflect the spirit of humanism and fraternity of Olympic host countries.

Excerpt: First, China. I’ve heard much talk that NK’s test is a humiliation for China. No way. China has for years been playing Double Agent: a bowing, smiling capitalist for American money, technology, and secrets, and a sneaky, conniving, communist secret combination in absolute cahoots with North Korea. You see, we know where every nuke, missile, army, ship, weapon stash, etc., is inside of China. They can’t fart in a silo without us registering it. They need North Korea, who is mysterious, closed off, and totally isolated, with little technology for our technology to bounce off of. They WANT North Korea to have all of this ability so that when NK attacks, China can, in the initial fog of war, take early advantage of the surprise. Make no mistake; when NK attacks, China will back them. All of the “We’ll talk some sense into Kim” that they’ve been promising and so-called tough measures haven’t failed because of Kim; they have failed because China never intended to enforce them, in spite of what they told us. We have been witness to a great smoke and mirrors, song and dance, magician’s distraction from China. What has been going on backstage bears little resemblance to the show. (more)

Charles Smith from Newsmax reports:

China serves as a major source of weapons technology for North Korea. The North Korean No-Dong missiles are based on Chinese technology passed by Beijing to Pyongyang. The latest variant of the Iranian No-dong, the Shahab-3, is also equipped with a Chinese designed upper-stage and re-entry vehicle bus (more)

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Anti-doping chief raps China for exporting dope

While the race for medals is on--enhancement drugs come in handy--especially in China where it has become a vibrant part of their culture. Just take a look at famous basketball star Yao Ming’s story. Drugs and Olympics don't mix.

Doping czar calls for tougher rules

China is trying hard to shake a reputation for doping among its athletes, a drive that has gained added urgency ahead of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

China cracked down on doping following a string of scandals in the 1990s, when 32 of its swimmers alone were caught for drug offences, two of them twice. It introduced tough new testing regimes and penalties, with 17 athletes punished in 2004 with fines and competition bans of up to two years.

"An Olympic host country has the special responsibility, both at home and around the world to demonstrate its commitment to doping free sport," said Pound, who arrived in China Sunday for a four-day visit. (more)

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

War is peace--slavery is freedom?

Don Feder has written a fabulous piece in the Washington Times recently illustrating the merits of the democracy of Taiwan. A letter to the editor from Chu Maoming, Press Counselor at the D.C. embassy of the so-called People’s Republic of China didn’t quite agree with Feder’s expose.

Excerpt: But Chu was on a roll. “The Chinese government has been consistently engaged in maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and achieving the peaceful reunification of China,” Chu declared. Of course it has -- in the same way that Japan consistently engaged in maintaining peace and stability in East Asia from 1937 to 1945.

Beijing’s peace-and-stability offensive has included 1) stationing 800 medium-range missiles on its coast near Taiwan 2) increasing military spending by double-digits for better than a decade 3) test-firing missiles toward Taiwan in 1996, to intimidate its people during their first direct presidential election 4) passing its infamous Anti-Succession Law in 2005, pledging to invade Taiwan whenever it believes the Taiwanese are taking unspecified steps toward “independence” and 5) periodically threatening nuclear war if the U.S. attempts to interfere with “reunification.”

War is peace. Slavery is freedom. And the Chinese communists need spokesmen whose pronouncements sound less like propaganda posters.

Two things must be understood at the outset: Firstly, Taiwan has a government; China does not. China has a regime -- a gang with guns that rules by brute force and with no one’s consent but its own.

Secondly, this is not about Taiwan’s “reunification” with China, but the incorporation of 23 million Taiwanese into the People’s Republic of China -- the aforesaid ruthless, vicious totalitarian state.
[...]Also last year, Li Xintao, formerly a worker at the Huamei Garment factory in Shandong province, went to prison for 5 years for “disturbing public order and government institutions.” His heinous offense consisted of trying to collect wages owed him by a bankrupt state company.

There are credible reports of organ harvesting, in Chinese prisons and labor camps. Victims include prisoners of conscience, among them members of the Falun Gong.

On July 29 of this year, police in a suburb of Hangzhou used electric stun batons to break up a demonstration by 3,000 Christians who were protesting the demolition of a house church (as all unauthorized churches are called).

On July 19, 2003, Deng Shiying died two days after her release from the Jilin Women’s Prison in Changchun City. Deng, who was serving a seven-year sentence for producing and distributing material describing human rights abuses committed against Falun Gong members, was beaten by other inmates at the direction of guards.

In China, the regime goes to extraordinary lengths to suppress any religious activity it can’t control. Catholic bishops loyal to Rome (as opposed to the puppet Patriotic Catholic Church), are routinely imprisoned.

The regime has a morbid fear of any organization which could conceivably challenge the party -- be it a church, labor movement, independent association of journalists or lawyers or even a meditation cult. The more popular the cause, the more brutal the repression.

That’s what China is today -- a huge, border-to-border detention facility for 1.2 billion inmates where human rights are non-existent and democracy is a distant dream. (more)

And there are many more reasons to stay out of the Olympics folks...

Mr. Feder is a former syndicated columnist for the Boston Herald and author of Who's Afraid of the Religious Right? (Regnery) and A Jewish Conservative Looks at Pagan America. He works as a freelance writer and media consultant and serves as the president of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation.

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Sunday, October 08, 2006

EU-China Resolution on Human Rights

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on September 7, 2006 sounding the alarm over a range of Chinese economic, foreign policy, environmental, and human rights issues, including the forced removal of organs from political prisoners. The EU-China resolution passed just before the recent EU-Asia summit proposes major law reform. In the run-up to the Olympics, China’s list of human rights violations is getting longer and longer. Here are a few examples:

European Parliament resolution on EU-China Relations (2005/2161(INI)

61. Deplores the recent crackdown by Chinese officials on defence lawyers aimed at stamping out legal challenges to their authority; calls upon the Chinese authorities to reveal the whereabouts of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, one of China's most outspoken lawyers and dissidents who is held on suspicion of criminal activity, and to release him unless he is to be charged with a recognised criminal offence; similarly calls for the release of Chen Guangcheng, a peasants' rights advocate who has helped citizens in their attempts to sue their local authorities for carrying out forced abortions and sterilisations and who was sentenced to more than four years in prison, and of Bu Dongwei, who has been assigned to two and a half years of 'Re-education through Labour' (RTL) and who is detained at an undisclosed location; therefore urges the authorities to ensure that all human rights defenders can carry out peaceful and legitimate activities without fear of arbitrary arrest, torture or ill-treatment and that they be given access to proper legal representation in the event of arrest;

64. Condemns in particular the existence of the Laogai labour camps across the country, in which the PRC detains pro-democracy activists, labour activists and members of minorities without a fair trial, forcing them to work in appalling conditions and without medical treatment; urges China to ratify ILO Conventions 29 and 105 on the Elimination of forced and compulsory labour; calls on China to give a written undertaking in relation to any given exported product that it has not been produced by forced labour in a Laogai camp and, if no such assurance can be given, insists that the Commission prohibit its importation into the EU;

66. Strongly condemns the detention and torture of Falun Gong practitioners in prisons, "Re-education through Labour" camps, psychiatric hospitals and "legal education schools"; is concerned about reports that organs of detained Falun Gong practitioners have been removed and sold to hospitals; urges the Chinese Government to end the detention and torture of Falun Gong practitioners and to release them immediately;

70. Expresses deep disquiet at the current clamp-down in the PRC on freedom of expression and free access to the Internet; repeats its requests to Beijing to refrain from intimidating, cracking down on or imprisoning those who advocate freedom of expression, whether the repression is directed at journalists or human rights activists or whether it makes information impossible to use by blacking out websites that do not conform to state censorship; condemns, therefore, the Internet censorship law passed by the National People's Congress and the existence of systems of Internet censorship collectively known as the 'Great Firewall of China'; calls in particular for the site to be allowed back onto the Web without delay – or in any event no longer be blacked out – bearing in mind that, in addition to being an excellent source of information about Asia and human rights advocacy, it also helps to foster dialogue between the Vatican and the PRC and hence the unity of the Chinese Church;

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Open letter: IOC urged to press China on human rights

Why not go a step further and propose the Games to be relocated?

More than 180 Chinese dissidents and rights activists have signed a letter urging the International Olympic Committee to press China to improve its human rights record ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Beijing (Reuters) - ABC (Au): The open letter to IOC President Jacques Rogge, circulated on the Internet, says the human rights situation in China has worsened in past months with a series of jailings of reporters, rights activists and lawyers.

"Less than two years to go before the Olympics ... the Chinese government needs to mute critical voices in advance," the letter said.

"That's the very reason they have been suppressing grassroots rights-defending movements on such a full scale."

The letter has been signed by veteran Chinese dissidents such as Wei Jingsheng and Wang Dan, who are in exile in the United States, and advocates within China, such as Hu Jia and Zhao Xin.

They say they are not opposed to the Beijing Olympic Games altogether.

"But the 'harmony' of the Games should not come at the cost of Chinese people being deprived of human rights and the silencing of China's human rights cause," the letter said.

Beijing pledged during its bid that allowing it to host the event would help advance human rights in China, but watchdog Amnesty International said last month that was not happening.


China has dismissed the allegation as groundless, but analysts say the past year has seen a concerted crackdown on dissidents and activists, as well as on the media and Internet, as China prepares for the Olympics.

A Chinese court jailed blind activist Chen Guangcheng for more than four years in August.

Critics said the charges against him had been trumped up by local officials angry at him for exposing arbitrary birth control measures such as late-term abortions.

Last week, police in the southern province of Guangdong formally arrested Guo Feixiong, a combative human rights lawyer, for "illegal business activities".

Another prominent lawyer, Gao Zhisheng, was detained in Shandong province in August.

The open letter calls on the IOC to press the Chinese Government to free the three, and "all other political prisoners, prisoners of conscience and religious prisoners", urging the IOC to draw lessons from the Nazi-controlled Berlin Olympics in 1936.

It also draws parallels with the IOC's ban on white-ruled South African participation in the Olympics over apartheid.

"We hope IOC could pay close attention to China's human rights as it did to South Africa's in the past," the letter said.

Responding to a similar appeal from Amnesty International last month, the IOC said it was not its place to pressure governments and it was premature to say China had failed to live up to the promises two years before the Beijing Games.
OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Sudan: Murder made in China

The Boston Globe: There was a time when Americans worried about China because it was Communist. But times change, and today the reason to worry about China is that it is capitalist - in an especially unrestrained, unprincipled way.

Some baleful consequences of China's idolatry of pure market forces are illuminated in a new report from Amnesty International on Chinese arms exports. The report is particularly compelling because it is free of ideological or geopolitical polemics. Amnesty's purpose in disclosing Beijing's arms transfers to murderous regimes in Sudan, Myanmar, Nepal and Iran is simply to help protect the victims: to defend the universal principle of human rights.

Perhaps the worst instance of China's disregard for how buyers use its military equipment is in Darfur, Sudan. An Islamist regime in Khartoum and Arab proxies known as janjaweed have used Chinese equipment in the raiding and razing of villages in Darfur. China sold 212 military trucks last August to Sudan.

Amnesty's report contains a heart- rending account of how 168 men were seized from 10 villages in Darfur "by a large force of soldiers, military intelligence officers and janjaweed militiamen, blindfolded and taken in groups of about 40 in army trucks to an area behind a hill near Deleji village. They were ordered to lie on the ground and were shot dead."

Accounts of this kind had to be willfully ignored by Chinese officials who refuse to curtail arms sales to Sudan. Indeed, because China's state-run oil company has the largest foreign investment in Sudan's oil fields, China's willingness to help the Khartoum regime carry out a genocide in Darfur suggests more than a passive reluctance to mix commerce with morality. China seems to be acting on the premise that its drive to ensure access to oil dictates indifference to Sudan's annihilation of hundreds of thousands of human beings.

What should be especially disturbing to Americans in the Amnesty report is an allegation that the Chinese trucks were run by engines that were sold to Sudan by a U.S. company, Cummins Inc. If this is the case, there has been an egregious failure to enforce U.S. sanctions on Sudan.

With more than $1 billion in arms exports, China is the sole major arms exporter that has not entered into any multilateral agreements prohibiting arms transfers to regimes likely to use them in severe human rights abuse. As long as Beijing refuses to do so, the post-Tiananmen U.S. and European Union sanctions on arms sales to China should remain in place. And, as Amnesty recommends, all the nations of the world should join an arms trade treaty embodying the principles of international humanitarian law.

Say NO to the 2008 Olympics!

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Dangerous Games

The Berlin Games had more teams competing than any previous Olympics. Let’s not repeat the same mistake again and use the Olympics to glorify and legitimize brutal dictatorships. The Movement to Boycott the Berlin Olympics of 1936 can teach us a few lessons.

The Atlantic: The most heated competition in the 2008 Olympics could take place not in a stadium but in the Taiwan Strait by Jennifer Lind

Since the ancient competitions at Olympia, the Olympic Games have transcended national rivalries and celebrated universal human achievement. Yet throughout modern history the Olympics have also been mired in power politics, international tension, and even violence. In the games following both world wars the defeated nations were prohibited from competing. Nazi Germany used the 1936 games in Berlin to showcase its dramatic resurgence and to intimidate its neighbors with images of German power and unity. South Africa was banned from the games from 1964 to 1992 because of its apartheid laws. And in 1972 the Olympics became a battlefield in the Arab-Israeli conflict when Palestinian terrorists killed eleven Israeli athletes in a hostage crisis. Politics saturated the Olympics throughout the Cold War: the United States led a boycott of the 1980 Moscow games to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Soviets organized a retaliatory boycott of the Los Angeles games four years later.

The 2008 Olympics, the first ever to be held in China, will be a similar exercise in politics by other means, starting with a battle for prestige: after the Americans dominated at the Athens games in 2004, China and Russia agreed to cooperate to best America in Beijing. The official Chinese goal is to win 110 medals—seven more than the United States won in Athens. To this end China and Russia will exchange coaches and share training methods and facilities. (Chinese Olympic organizers have promised that in return for Moscow’s assistance they will instruct Chinese fans to cheer for Russian athletes at any event in which no Chinese athlete is competing.) In 2004 China’s sports minister, Yuan Weimin, told U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Peter Ueberroth before the Athens games, “Don’t worry—we will not topple you. But we are making this effort.”

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

BBC: Organ sales 'thriving' in China

It is doubtful that new rules will persuade China to give up this lucrative business...The cadres have shown the free world time and again that they have great difficulty in implementing the rule of law when faced with practical interests.

BBC: Chinese officials say the prisoners volunteer to donate their organs

The sale of organs taken from executed prisoners appears to be thriving in China, an undercover investigation by the BBC has found.

Organs from death row inmates are sold to foreigners who need transplants.

One hospital said it could provide a liver at a cost of £50,000 ($94,400), with the chief surgeon confirming an executed prisoner could be the donor.

China's health ministry did not deny the practice, but said it was reviewing the system and regulations. (more)

Another report released in July by Canadian human rights activists David Kilgour and David Matas revealed evidence of widespread organ harvesting from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners across China. “Each portion of the evidence we have considered is, in itself, verifiable and, in most cases, incontestable. Put together, they paint a damning whole picture. It is their combination that has conviced us.” (more)

These heinous crimes against humanity must be stopped. Let's take action now and boycott the 2008 Olympics.

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Video on Death Vans

Watch the video here. In China 68 different crimes — more than half non-violent offenses such as tax evasion and drug smuggling — are punishable by death. That means the death vans are likely to keep rolling.

Amnesty International has a report on this issue titled: 'Chinese use mobile death vans to execute prisoners'. Its most recent report though compiles evidence pointing to organ harvesting of prisoners. That alone is more than enough to boycott the 2008 Games. USA Today has more on this.

State secret

For years, foreign human rights groups have accused China of arbitrary executions and cruelty in its use of capital punishment. The exact number of convicts put to death is a state secret. Amnesty International estimates there were at least 1,770 executions in China in 2005 — vs. 60 in the United States, but the group says on its website that the toll could be as high as 8,000 prisoners.

The "majority are still by gunshot," says Liu Renwen, death penalty researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a think tank in Beijing. "But the use of injections has grown in recent years, and may have reached 40%."

China's critics contend that the transition from firing squads to injections in death vans facilitates an illegal trade in prisoners' organs.

Injections leave the whole body intact and require participation of doctors. Organs can "be extracted in a speedier and more effective way than if the prisoner is shot," says Mark Allison, East Asia researcher at Amnesty International in Hong Kong. "We have gathered strong evidence suggesting the involvement of (Chinese) police, courts and hospitals in the organ trade."

Executions in death vans are recorded on video and audio that is played live to local law enforcement authorities — a measure intended to ensure they are carried out legally.

China's refusal to give outsiders access to the bodies of executed prisoners has added to suspicions about what happens afterward: Corpses are typically driven to a crematorium and burned before relatives or independent witnesses can view them.

Chinese authorities are sensitive to allegations that they are complicit in the organ trade. In March, the Ministry of Health issued regulations explicitly banning the sale of organs and tightening approval standards for transplants.

Even so, Amnesty International said in a report in April that huge profits from the sale of prisoners' organs might be part of why China refuses to consider doing away with the death penalty.

"Given the high commercial value of organs, it is doubtful the new regulations will have an effect," Allison says. (more)

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Video on land seizures

Watch video here. Many thanks to Prison Planet for posting this video with insightful details. Those people's homes are bulldozed on short notice to make room for Olympics construction sites. The compensation money, if any, ends up in the CCP's pockets.

Excerpt: Sky News recently produced a segment which highlighted how, despite fierce anger and resistance amongst the people of China, the Communist Government has instilled such fear and has such control over the media that very few dare to stand up and speak out. Those that do are forcibly quashed.

The Government and its contractors are seizing people's land and homes and building their own developments on it, forcing the population into living lives of poverty and squalor.

The state controlled Chinese media does not cover this because they know they would be immediately shut down if they did. The only footage that comes out of China is shot by the people themselves or undercover foreign reporters.

These revelations should remind us of the fact that tyrannical governments, in order to succeed know they have to infiltrate the lives of their populations to every degree, not allowing any fomr of self sufficiency or independence to endanger their iron fist control. (full report)

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Nobel nomination highlights Uighur plight

The Uighurs in Xinjiang have been hit quite hard by the Chinese regime since the 9/11 attacks on the US. Communist China took advantage of this incident to label all Uighurs as terrorists in order to justify the killing. I hope Rebiya Kadeer gets the Nobel Peace Prize.

"If those Uighurs were still in Pakistan or Afghanistan, they would have been sent back to China and even executed," she said. "All the Uighurs who were extradited to China in the past were executed. Now they are in U.S. hands. Although they do not have freedom, they are alive and safe."

Nobel nomination highlights Uighur plight – activist By David Alexander

WASHINGTON, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Ethnic Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer expressed satisfaction on Friday that her nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize had focused global attention on her people's struggle against Chinese oppression and she denied any link to terrorism.

"I'm not a terrorist," Kadeer, 60, said in an interview with Reuters television. "The Chinese government knows that, the international community knows that. And I am opposed to terrorism in all shapes and forms, whether it's being conducted by Chinese, by Uighur, by any person."

The Chinese government has accused the mostly Muslim, Turkic-speaking ethnic Uighurs in northwestern Xinjiang of using violence to agitate for an independent East Turkestan state. Ethnic Uighurs captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan have been imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.

Kadeer spent five years in prison in China before going into exile last year. Beijing, in an angry denunciation of her Nobel nomination, charged that she had been involved in "sabotaging peace and stability of the Chinese society." Three of her children were detained by Chinese authorities in May.

"Today the Chinese government has used the charge of terrorism to persecute and eliminate the Uighur people," Kadeer said through a translator. "All the Chinese charges are false. The international community will soon learn that. And I also believe that I have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize because I am not a terrorist, because I am not violent."

Beijing incorporated the mostly Muslim, Turkic-speaking Uighur areas into China in 1949 and has supported large-scale Chinese migration into the region while engaging in a campaign of religious and cultural repression, a Human Rights Watch report last year said.

Kadeer, the president of the Uighur American Association, won the Rafto Prize for human rights in Norway in 2004 and is seen as a leading contender for the Nobel, which will be announced in Oslo, Norway, on Oct. 13.

Kadeer said she believed the Uighurs held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo would be ultimately be released if they had not been involved in violence. She said five Uighurs had been released and relocated to Albania.

"If those Uighurs were still in Pakistan or Afghanistan, they would have been sent back to China and even executed," she said. "All the Uighurs who were extradited to China in the past were executed. Now they are in U.S. hands. Although they do not have freedom, they are alive and safe."

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008