Thursday, 7 August 2008

Falun Gong's Olympic 'call for justice'

About 100 protesters from the Falun Gong have gathered in Sydney's CBD calling for greater scrutiny of China's labour camps during the Olympics.

The Falun Gong say about 8,000 of their members in China have been arrested since December in crackdown leading up to the games.

Protest organisers say they have gathered to call for journalists to scrutinise China's labour camps while covering the Olympics.

About 50 people gathered in front of banners calling for justice, while two Falun Gong women who say they have survived torture spoke about their experiences.

One of the women, Jennifer Zeng, says the Games should be used by international media as an opportunity to investigate torture claims.

"Just miles away from the Olympic venue, people are being tortured or even being tortured to death," she said.

"I was detained in the Beijing female labour camp for one year for practicing Falun Gong."

Chinese political prisoners 'worse-off' in Games lead-up

A letter from a jailed Chinese dissident to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) claims the treatment of pro-democracy supporters in China has worsened in the lead-up to the Games.

The New York-based group Human Rights in China has released the letter written by veteran dissident He Depu.

He is serving an eight-year sentence for inciting subversion of state power.

His letter to IOC President Jacques Rogge was written in April and smuggled out of his Beijing prison.

Mr He writes authorities are treating political prisoners worse because of the Olympic Games.

He says they are not allowed to call or meet with their families, obtain a reduced sentence or participate in recreational activities.

He Depu invites Mr Rogge to visit, saying he should see for himself if the Olympic Games have really been a catalyst for political change.

Another human rights protest in Beijing

As the Olympic Games draw closer, more human rights protests are breaking out in Beijing.

Yesterday there were protests about repression in Tibet and by foreign Christians about China's population control policies.

Today, the same foreign Christians were detained after another protest.

Also, a group of athletes, including 40 Olympians, have called on China's President to respect human rights and to resolve the Tibet issue.

Human rights were always going to be a sensitive issue for the Beijing Games, and various groups believe now is the time to get their causes heard.

During the Olympics China wants to shine in the international spotlight - others want to use it to expose dark corners [gross human rights abuse.]


Before the Olympics, 'Free Tibet'
A "Free Tibet" activist group will screen an advertisement urging Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to speak to the Chinese leadership about finding a solution for Tibet during his visit to the Olympics in Beijing.

American Foreign Policy Brought to You by China: Advisers to Obama, McCain Tied to US Multinationals that Profit from Beijing

President Bush is heading to China this week, where he will attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Summer Olympics on Friday. The Games’ presence in Beijing have helped spotlight opposition to China on a number of policies, including its repression of the Tibetan independence movement, its support for the Sudanese government in Darfur and its crackdown on dissidents and civil liberties at home. In the latest issue of Harper’s Magazine, Ken Silverstein says many of the bipartisan experts who have advocated so-called “constructive engagement” with China are tied to major US multinational corporations that profit heavily from the Chinese market.

Rudd to raise China Olympic censorship
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he will raise concerns with the Chinese Government about internet censorship during the Olympics. Chinese authorities are blocking sensitive websites used by the international media and are using spyware to monitor internet use in hotels used by journalists and other visitors to the Games.

China's human rights worse: Amnesty
Human rights group Amnesty International has released a scathing assessment of China's human rights record since it was awarded the right to host next month's Olympic Games seven years ago.

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