Human Rights in China (HRIC) voiced concerns today that the selection of Beijing as the host city for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games presents significant challenges both to Chinese authorities and to the international community. “The Chinese government must not repeat its past approach to hosting international events,” declared Xiao Qiang, Executive Director of HRIC. “Past practice has included large-scale round-ups of street children, unemployed migrants, beggars and the mentally ill, who are then subjected to abusive conditions and stripped of their basic rights.”
HRIC calls upon the international community and the International Olympic Committee to establish monitoring mechanisms to ensure that China complies with its international human rights obligations. We also call on the Chinese government to permit non-discriminatory and open access over the next seven years and during the Games.
Finally, as a gesture of good faith and commitment to the Games’ historic mission of promoting peace and the dignity of the human spirit, HRIC urges the Chinese government to release all prisoners of conscience, including recently detained Chinese/American scholars. “Selection as an Olympic site is a great honor to the Chinese people. The Chinese government must not dishonor this prestigious opportunity by violating the rights of its citizens” Xiao Qiang stated.