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

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