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Beijing Olympics Human Rights Legacy - More Repression

Remember those promises from the IOC that the Beijing Olympics would result in improvements in China's human rights record? Francois Carrard told the BBC: 'If the Games were not awarded to China the (human rights) situation would not have progressed, this is a contribution to progress, an accelerating factor.' Monsieur Carrard went on 'I'm convinced that when we look at this with the perspective of history we will see that the Olympic Games will have been an opportunity for considerable progress.'

Amnesty International has published its Regional Report on China which makes depressing reading:

'The Chinese government responded to a burgeoning civil society by jailing and persecuting people for peacefully expressing their views, holding religious beliefs not sanctioned by the state, advocating for democratic reform and human rights, and defending the rights of others. Popular social media sites remained blocked by China’s internet firewall. The authorities continued to repress Tibetan, Uighur, Mongolian and other ethnic minority populations. On the international stage, China grew more confident and more aggressive in punishing countries whose leaders spoke publicly about its human rights record.'

The report is accompanied by pages of information on the pattern of repression and detention.

Of course, back in 2008 it wasn't long before the IOC reverted to its usual line that it wasn't a political organisation while British politicians and Olympic officials preferred to concentrate on the shiny new buildings. Given the moral panic surrounding the riots on the streets of English cities and the obsession with security for the Games the human rights legacy for Britain doesn't look good either.

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