Thursday, September 20, 2007

Activists plan torch run to lobby for human rights


24 HOURS - Activists demanding improved human rights in China in the lead-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics are hoping to hand off their message to the world with a unique torch run.

The Support Human Rights Torch Relay is currently working its way around the globe - with a Vancouver stop anticipated in October or November.

"When China was awarded the games, they made a promise to the international community to improve their human-rights policies but everyone has just forgot about that," said Clement Apaak, a well-known Vancouver human-rights activist. "Between now and the Olympics, you're going to hear a lot about it because people [in China] should have the same rights as everyone else."

Clive Ansley of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong said the Chinese government's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is an "incredible violation" of what the Olympics represent.

He hopes their torch run will garner enough support to put pressure on the Chinese to change their policies.

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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