Safeguard our own democracy!

Recently someleaders in democratic countries including Japan, Australia, France andthe US, have either announced or indicated their decisions to attendthe opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. I have no doubt that suchirresponsible statements not only showed their shortsightedness, butwill also worsen human rights records in China, discourage China'sdemocratization and have a negative impact on the world peace.However, I am not surprised. If the Beijing Olympics bring anopportunity for the Chinese Communist Party to strengthen itsdictatorship over the country, then the Games are huge economicinterests for political leaders and large corporations in the West. Inthis respect, the Western leaders have always been on the side of theChinese government than the side of the Chinese people. It shows again that democracy in the West can also be eroded if notsafeguarded. And again it calls for people in the democratic countriesto practice their power and rights to correct the decisions of theirgovernments. Thus it is urgent and crucial for citizens around theworld to urge their own governments to make sure that the Chinesegovernment meets the following conditions before the eighth of August:1. Free media for all – foreign and domestic, official and unofficial.2. Release all prisoners of conscience.3. Respect the right to peaceful protest.Your effort will continue to encourage people in Mainland China to fight for dignity. In this battle, every small act counts.The game is not over. As a matter of fact, it has not yet started!

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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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