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Protesters in action as Beijing gets set for one-year countdown to
8. Protesters in action as Beijing gets set for one-year countdown to
By STEPHEN WADE The Associated Press | 4:41 AM
BEIJING — The Olympic Games are a year away but protests have already
begun from groups who want the event to change China.
Officials including International Olympic Committee President Jacques
Rogge will mark the start of the one-year countdown to the 2008 Olympics
with a lavish ceremony Wednesday in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
But on Tuesday, Chinese authorities detained six activists descending
part of the Great Wall of China with a 42-square-metre banner reading,
"One World, One Dream, Free Tibet 2008."
Two of the detained activists are from Canada. They are Melanie Raoul
and Sam Price, both from Vancouver, said the New York-based group
Students for a Free Tibet.
"They certainly went knowing the potential consequences," said Kathy
Nikeefe, a spokeswoman for the New York group. "They expected to be
detained, and we’re doing our best to make sure we can get them out as
soon as possible."
Aside from activists demanding independence for Tibet, journalists are
pushing for more press freedom and China’s human rights record is under
The protests gave Olympic organizers a taste of what to expect in the
In a new report, Amnesty International says China has violated
Olympic-related pledges by increasing abuse and surveillance of
political and religious dissidents, jailing journalists and closing
publications focusing on social development.
With one year to go, time is "running out for the Chinese government to
fulfil its promise of promoting human rights as part of the Olympics
legacy," the group’s Secretary General Irene Khan said in a statement.
"Unless the Chinese authorities take urgent measures to stop human
rights violations over the coming year, they risk tarnishing the image
of China and the legacy of the Beijing Olympics," Khan said.
The IOC president has been greeted in Beijing not with the blue skies
organizers had hoped for, but a thick blanket of smog and humidity that
has hovered over the city for weeks.
Poor air quality could threaten the performance and health of thousands
of athletes. Some are already saying they will stay away until the last
minute because of pollution concerns.
Chinese officials promised foreign reporters free movement seven months
ago. However, the temporary freedoms do not extend to local Chinese
On Tuesday the Committee to Protect Journalists urged Beijing to free 29
imprisoned journalists and loosen the restrictions on local reporters.
It also called on the IOC to pressure China to increase press freedoms.
Articles in this Issue:
- Tibetan Canadian Observer detained in Beijing (SFT)
- One World, One Dream, One Big Human Rights Problem (Der Spiegel)
- Unlucky start to Games countdown (Scotsman)
- Great Wall protest (Vancouver Sun)
- China detains third Canadian, a leader of activist group seeking free
- 3rd Canadian detained by China, student group says (CBC)
- Activists arrested in China (The Province)
- Protesters in action as Beijing gets set for one-year countdown to
- Parents worried after 2 Vancouverites reportedly held in China (CBC)
- Canadians detained in China now leaving country, reports say
- Activists Step Up Criticism of China, One Year Before Beijing
- Beijing Olympics can't avoid political issues (New Zealand Herald)
- China: Human-Rights Pressure Increases As Olympic Countdown Begins
- Thousands of Tibetans march in Indian capital against China's rule
in Tibet (AP)
- Tibetans protest 2008 Beijing Olympics (ANI)
- Tibetans to hold massive rally against Chinese government (IANS)
- Indian Tibetans march to shame Olympics host China (Reuters)
- Terror in Tibet
- Sinopec establishes exploration base in Tibet
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