China’s appalling Human Rights abuses are well documented and often publicised by organisations such as Amnesty International. I’ll therefore spare readers with the disgraceful details of the abuses committed such as their sale of organs taken from executed prisoners.
Some argue that countries should not send their athletes to the games because of the abuses but I disagree. Taking such an approach deprives athletes of a chance to participate and has proven ineffectual when you consider previous precedent e.g. Moscow Olympics in 1980 which were boycotted by 62 nations led by USA.
Presidents and Prime Ministers from participating countries can however show their opposition to China’s Human Rights abuses by refusing to attend the ceremonies and supporting peaceful non violent protests.
It was therefore with great regret that I watched President Bush arriving in China last night to attend the opening ceremony. His mere attendance was stomach churning, compounded by his smiles and waves to the awaiting public as he left Air Force One.
I look forward to watching the games over the next number of days in awe at the sporting excellence of the participants and the courage of those who will use the event as an opportunity to highlight the Human Rights abuses inflicted by the Communist Government on its citizens.
Now is the time to pile on the pressure for change before the Olympics are over and the spotlight dims.
Now is the time for an end to executions, fair trials for all, respect for human rights defenders and freedom from censorship.
Friday 8 August 2008