One month before Beijing Olympics, Olympic Watch writes Chinese president
Prague, July 8, 2008 – Olympic Watch chairman Jan Ruml today sent a letter to President Hu Jintao of the People’s Republic of China, calling on him to fulfill the promises regarding human rights in China that Chinese officials made when bidding for the organization of the Olympics in Beijing, and to release Hu Jia, Yang Chunlin and Ye Guozhu - three activists jailed in connection with the Olympics.
The full text of the letter follows below.
President of the People’s Republic of China
The State Council General Office
People’s Republic of China
Prague, 8 July 2008
Dear President Hu,
As the 2008 Olympic Games are approaching, the world stands witness to the fact that your government has not fulfilled the promises of human rights improvements and full media freedom that your comrades publicly gave in 2001.
With one month left, it is time for you to demonstrate your judgment. Among the countless people imprisoned by your government for merely exercising their internationally guaranteed freedoms, three Olympic prisoners stand out:
Hu Jia, who was jailed earlier this year after he publicly pointed out the connection between Olympic organizers and human rights violators from the Chinese security forces;
Yang Chunlin, who was imprisoned last year for drafting a petition that compared the importance of human rights with the Olympics;
Ye Guozhu, who has been in jail since 2004 for lawfully organizing a rally of people evicted for Olympics-related redevelopment of Beijing.
All these were peaceful expressions protected by internationally recognized human rights standards. We call on you to release these three Olympic prisoners immediately to mitigate the attention the world is about to give the many prisoners of conscience held by your regime at the time of the Olympics.
You should also consider making other steps towards improving the stature of your country and the lives of its citizens, such as imposing a moratorium on the death penalty, abolishing the system of arbitrary detentions and relaxing conditions for Chinese and international media to freely gather and report information and thus help the development of China as a truly modern nation.
Chairman, Olympic Watch