Wednesday, October 25, 2006

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


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I think it is naive of the IOC to suggest the the Olympics is free of resonsibility for the human rights abuses that continue in China.

Awarding China the Olympics is a sign that the global community and the IOC are turning a blind eye to the ongoing and systematic human rights abuses in China.

I will boycott the entire 2008 Olympics in their entirity and I ruge others to do so unless this situation improves rapidly.

MaKina said...

I totally agree with you. The IOC are playing games called 'politics' while they are telling everyone not to get political. What a joke!