Olympic Watch: Brussels, May 19, 2007 – A coalition of international organizations working for human rights improvements in China, including several associations of the Chinese democratic exile, has sent an open letter to Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC. The letter calls on Rogge to hold the Beijing Organizing Committee accountable for the lack of human rights progress in China. Considering the promises made by Beijing during its candidacy for the 2008 Olympics, the letter reminds the IOC of the necessity to ensure freedom of the press and of the human rights violations carried out in relation to the Games. The letter also calls on the IOC to stop the political abuse of the Olympic ideals by the propaganda machine of the Chinese Communist Party.
The full text of the letter follows below.
Mr. Jacques Rogge
International Olympic Committee
Château de Vidy
Brussels, 16 May 2007
Dear President Rogge,
As a coalition of native Chinese and Asian human rights defenders, and other supporters of human rights in China and Asia from around the world, we call on you to immediately hold the Beijing Organizing Committee (BOCOG) accountable for the lack of progress on human rights since 2001, when you awarded the 2008 Olympic Games to Beijing.
We request that you make sure that in line with the Olympic Charter, BOCOG is immediately de-politicized. It must be run as a non-partisan non-political organization promoting Olympic ideals, including human rights and dignity. At this point it is an organ composed of Chinese Communist Party officials, interested primarily in the political propaganda abuse of the Games.
We also request that BOCOG deliver on its promises of freedom of speech in China. Recent cosmetic improvements of regulations on international media operations do not counterbalance the continuing, and in many respects worsening, pressure on the Chinese media, and the increasing restrictions of foreign media availability in China. You know as well as we do that there is no freedom of the press in China.
Finally, we urge you to personally plead for the immediate release of Ye Guozhu, the activist imprisoned and reportedly tortured in relation to the Olympic re-development of Beijing, and to make it clear to BOCOG that any further human rights violations related to the organization of the Games are unacceptable.
With less than fifteen months to go and no improvement in sight, your action is needed now. We look forward to your response.
Forum for a Democratic China and Asia
Federation for a Democratic China
China Rights Network
Chinese Students and Scholars Organization in Germany
Delegates of the 2007 conference on global support to China/Asia democracy in Brussels