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

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