Hosting the Olympics won't improve your life

Article published on Sept. 16, 2008
Article published on Sept. 16, 2008
As the Beijing Olympics ended, Amnesty International today accused the Chinese authorities of prioritizing image over substance as it continued to persecute and punish activists and journalists during the Games.

pechino002.jpg “The Beijing Olympics have been a spectacular sporting event but they took place against a backdrop of human rights violations, with activists prevented from expressing their views peacefully and many in detention when they have committed no crime,” said Roseann Rife, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Deputy Program Director in Hong Kong.

pechino003.jpg Housing rights activist, Ye Guozhu , is being held in police custody after completing a four-year prison sentence in connection with his attempts to draw public attention to alleged forced evictions in Beijing due to Olympics-related construction. The police said he would be kept in detention to keep him and his family out of trouble until the Olympics and Paralympics were over. On 26 July, the police sent the family an official detention notice stating that Ye was being held at Xuanwu district police detention centre on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb order in a public place”, but provided no further detail. Amnesty International received reliable reports that police beat him with electroshock batons before his trial and he was subjected to further beatings in prison.

pechino004.jpg Two elderly women, Wu Dianyuan (aged 79) and Wang Xiuying (aged 77) were accused of “disturbing public order” and assigned to one year of RTL after they applied to demonstrate in one of the official protest zones. They had been petitioning the authorities since 2001 when they were evicted from their homes to make way for a development project. Beijing city officials ruled that they would not have to serve their time in an RTL facility as long as they ‘behaved’, but that restrictions would be placed on their movements.

Source: Amnesty

Illustration: unknow

On cafebabel: Hosting the Olympics won't improve your life