Sports Outside the Beltway

China, Amnesty International and the 2008 Summer Olympics

From AP-

BEIJING – China has failed to live up to promises its leaders made to improve human rights for the 2008 Olympics, Amnesty International said in a report urging the International Olympic Committee to ensure that the Chinese comply.

The report, released Thursday, catalogs a broad range of persistent human rights abuses, from the widespread use of the death penalty and the extraction of organs from executed prisoners for transplants, to the persecution of civil rights activists and new methods to rein in the media and censor the Internet. The report also said Beijing is forcing people from homes to make way for Olympic-related construction projects.

“Serious human rights violations continue to be reported across the country, fueling instability and discontent,” the London-based group’s report said. “Grass-roots human rights activists continue to be detained and imprisoned, and official controls over the media and the Internet are growing tighter.”

Amnesty International called on the Chinese government to enact reforms. It also urged the IOC and the Olympics “to put pressure on Chinese authorities” to release political prisoners, take steps toward ending the death penalty and repeal restrictions on the free flow of information.

China’s foreign ministry didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

What’s the IOC to do besides threaten to take the Olympic games away from China? Even if they did make such a threat, China is likely to say their policies saying its their own internal matters and of no one else’s concern.

Someone or some people at Amnesty International need a history lesson. Sanctions and a US Olympic boycott didn’t get the Soviet Union to pull out of Afghanistan in 1980. China won’t change now either.

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