Saturday, January 17, 2009

This is Why China Should Not Have Been Awarded the Olympics

China should not have been awarded the Olympics because it does not believe in human rights, especially freedom of speech, and an impartial legal system. Would-Be Olympic Protester Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison China set aside several parks in Beijing for protests. This was apparently just for show, however. When Chinese people applied for permits to protest they were arrested! According to this New York Times article, no protests were held in any of the parks. Two women in their 70's were arrested for applying to protest and were then sentenced to "re-education through labor". This is the infamous punishment used throughout the era of Mao to send people away to remote labor camps.

This is what happened to Ji Sizun, the subject of this article:

Mr. Ji, from the coastal province of Fujian, met with a similar fate [being arrested]. He arrived in Beijing planning to hold a protest against government corruption, an issue that angers many Chinese and that undermines the legitimacy of the government.

On Aug. 9, Mr. Ji went to the Deshengmenwai police station to apply for a permit to protest at the Purple Bamboo Park, one of the three designated protest areas. Mr. Ji had several reporters accompany him because he feared being arrested. He tried to submit his application but was questioned intensely by police officers. The reporters who accompanied him said they were harassed. Mr. Ji left the station that day, but returned two days later to check on the status of his application. The police arrested him then.

And now he's been imprisoned for three years. For applying to protest. I'd like to know what the International Olympic Committee and the United States have to say about this. How can they justify awarding the Olympics to China when this kind of thing happens? Clearly, the Olympics did not improve human rights there at all.

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