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China and The Olympics

On 8 August 2008, the Olympics ceremony will take place in Beijing. What is the Olympic spirit? Is it to advance human dignity, or to propaganda an extreme nationalism to add legitimacy to the host regime and launder money for the particular persons or groups?

From a human rights perspective, there are two remarkable Olympic Games in modern history. Before and during the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, there existed many serious human rights abuses in Nazi Germany. But international democratic countries ignored the issues, which finally led to a worldwide humanitarian crisis. Before, during and after the 1988 Seoul Olympics, international democratic societies sought to protect human rights in the state, cooperated with the civil society of the country and helped South Korea improve its human rights record.

There is a popular opinion that the Olympics has no relevance to politics and human rights. However, the Olympics is integral to politics and human rights. The real question is why the Olympics cannot be separated from politics and human rights, especially in mainland China. For the Communist regime, the Olympics becomes politics highly and a new legitimacy. On political rights and freedom, China’s rating for from 1989 to update was worse than those for the early and mid 1980 although the Chinese regime signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1998. (Refer to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Chinese Human Rights DefendersHuman Right in China )

View some great campaigning posters about the Olympics in China

This blog will recall some of the most notorious human rights violations and record current human rights disasters in mainland China during Communist rule. What caused the human rights abuses and disasters has not changed. Chinese citizens have no access to freedom of expression and information. Will the problems above continue to happen? And are there comparisons to be made in other parts of the world?

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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