Whats happening in China, then?
The Games seem to be going pretty well in Beijing, overshadowed of course by the shocking events in Georgia. If reports are true and Russia has now ordered an end to the conflict, hopefully people there can start repairing their lives and the world’s media can turn their cameras back onto Beijing.
In China the International Herald Tribune has added a whiff of intrigue to a story about the detention of a religious freedom activist, saying that Hua Huiqi has escaped from detention. Freedom of religious belief was a particular concern expressed by US President George W Bush last week.
Interestingly, in the wake of stories that athletes and spectators from Scotland and Wales might not be able to take the Scottish and Welsh flags into Olympic venues, Team GB’s first medal winner was Welsh - Nicole Cooke bagging gold in the women’s cycling road race. I have tried searching for a pic of her with the Welsh dragon and can’t find one, but let me know if you’ve spotted one.
Amnesty’s own Olympic ambassador, John Amaechi, is also blogging away from Beijing. It’s a good read: while John discusses China’s human rights promises and the role of Olympians in speaking out about human rights, he also gives the reader a bit of insight into his daily life. His portrait of the attention that a 6’ 7” man gets on the streets of a country where the average height is a good foot shorter really made me laugh.
More worrying are reports (all based on the state-controlled news agency Xinhua) that there has been more violence in North-Westerly Xinjiang, with three security staff reportedly stabbed to death. Tiananmen Square survivor Shao Jiang posted recently on the Telegraph site about reports of violence in Xinjiang and the need for people to be allowed to protest peacefully. We can only hope that some protests from within China are able to happen and that they are not met with a violent response.
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.