Olympic Watch: human rights in China and the Beijing 2008 Olympics OLYMPIC WATCHOLYMPIC WATCH


Olympic Watch to China: Let media in Tibet, release peaceful protesters

Prague, March 14, 2008 – In response to protests rattling Tibetan cities, Olympic Watch has issued a statement calling on the Chinese government to allow international media in Tibet, release all peaceful protesters, and start negotiations with the Tibetan government-in-exile. It also calls on the International Olympic Committee to assume its responsibility and hold the Chinese government accountable for its promises of human rights improvements.

Olympic Watch is a non-political human rights organization, established in Prague in 2001 in response to IOC’s decision to grant the 2008 Olympics to Beijing. Its mission is to help keep the Chinese government accountable for its international human rights commitments and its pledges of human rights improvements made when Beijing was bidding for the 2008 games.

The full text of the statement follows below:

Tibet has been a place of systematic human rights abuses by the Chinese regime for many decades. Reports of protests among Buddhist monks and the lay public and about the crackdown by Chinese security forces have recently emerged.

Olympic Watch calls on the Chinese government to immediately:
- release all those who peacefully demanded respect for their internationally guaranteed human rights;
- allow international media in Tibet, in line with its Olympic pledge of “full media freedom”, in order to allow verification of reports of violence by Chinese security forces or any other party;
- start an honest and unconditional dialogue with the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile about a just status for Tibet.

Olympic Watch also urges once again the International Olympic Committee to explain to the Chinese government that human rights abuses are contrary to China’s pre-Olympic pledges and the Olympic ideals of “human dignity” and “peace”.

Prague, March 14, 2008

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