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

Death penalty, torture


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. Read more >>>


Olympic Watch statement one year before Beijing 2008 Olympics

When in 2001 the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2008 Olympic Games to Beijing, it did so as the Beijing bidding committee pledged that the hosting of the Games “will help the development of human rights” and most notably, “there will be no restrictions on media reporting and movement of journalists up to and including the Olympic Games”. Read more >>>


Olympic Watch writes National Olympic Committees

Prague, December 10, 2006 - Olympic Watch, an organization campaigning for human rights improvements in China before the 2008 Olympic Games, has sent a letter to national Olympic committees around the world. Sent twenty months before the Games are to start and on the eve of the International Human Rights Day, the letter alerts the national committees about the ongoing human rights violations in China and reminds them of their obligations in defending Olympic ideals. Read more >>>


Two years until Beijing 2008: IOC fails, activists call on athletes, sponsors to act

Prague / Paris / Frankfurt / Washington, August 7, 2006 - Two years before the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games are to begin, an international coalition of human rights organizations has issued a joint statement, saying the International Olympic Committee has failed to protect Olympic ideals and calling on national Olympic committees, athletes and sponsors to take action. Citing continuing human rights violations and political propaganda abuse of the Games by the Chinese authoritarian government, they say boycott is one of possible options of protest. Read more >>>


After Torino, focus on Beijing’s human rights record

Prague / Paris / Frankfurt / Washington, February 28, 2006 – An international coalition of human rights organizations, including two groups headed by prominent Chinese exiles, has written a letter to the president of the International Olympic Committee, asking him to “focus on the continuing human rights abuses” in China before Beijing 2008 because they “threaten to damage the Olympic ideals forever.” The IOC, the groups suggest, may need to “reconsider holding the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.” Read more >>>


OW and AI: Czech Republic must not remain silent on human rights abuses in China

Prague, December 7, 2005 – A coalition of five NGOs has requested by letters to President Klaus and Prime Minister Paroubek that they use their meetings with Chinese premier Wen to discuss human rights, which are seriously violated in China. The letter has been signed by leaders of Olympic Watch, Amnesty International Czech Republic, the Confederation of Political Prisoners of the Czech Republic, the People in Need Foundation, and the Lungta association. Read more >>>


Will Europe sell its soul to Beijing?

Jan Ruml, the Chairman, and Petr Kutilek, the Executive Secretary of Olympic Watch, have published an article in Hospodarske Noviny (most respected Czech daily) today, arguing for Europe to maintain its embargo on arms exports to the PRC. They claim that the ongoing human rights violations in China, the lack of change in Beijing’s dealing with the Tiananmen massacre, and the growing military threats towards the democracy in Taiwan require a continued principled position of the EU. Read more >>>


Europe-wide call against lifting China arms embargo

Prague / Amsterdam / Brussels, December 3, 2004 – A broad coalition of pro-democracy and pro-Tibetan NGOs from around Europe has written an open letter to the European Union today, urging it not to lift the arms embargo on China. They point out that the original reason for the embargo, the Tiananmen massacre, continues to be justified by the Beijing government and activists from the pro-democracy movement remain in prison. “An end to the embargo cannot be justified without significant improvement of human rights in China,“ reads the letter signed by twenty-four organizations. They call on the Beijing government to revise their position on the Tiananmen events; release prisoners of conscience; state that it will not use weapons against the people of China, Tibet, and Taiwan; negotiate with the Dalai Lama; adopt international human rights standards; and introduce moratorium on executions. The letter comes five days ahead of the EU-China summit. Read more >>>


Human rights organizations unveil “Minimum Standards for Beijing 2008”

Prague / Frankfurt / Washington, August 29, 2004 – Three human rights organizations have published a set of “minimum standards” that Beijing should meet in order to be a good host for the next Olympic Games. They argue that the situation in China contradicts the ideals of the Olympic Charter. If there is no progress by 2006, Olympic Watch, the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR / IGFM) and the Laogai Research Foundation will “assist the international community in finding alternative solutions”. Specifically, this coalition requests that the PRC ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the Beijing government signed six years ago. Other standards cover no use of military power against peaceful democratic action, moratorium on the death penalty, democracy for Hong Kong, talks with the Tibetan government-in-exile and the abolition of slave labor camps where people are sent without a trial. Read more >>>


Chinese, Tibetan exile and Olympic Watch call for moment of silence during Athens closing ceremony

Athens / Prague / Washington, August 26, 2004 – Prominent Chinese pro-democracy groups and Olympic Watch have joined Tibetan rights supporters in calling for a peaceful protest during the closing ceremony of the Athens Olympics this Sunday, 29 August. Athletes and spectators are being asked to demonstrate their support for human rights in China and Tibet by remaining silent during China’s presentation and the handover of the Olympic Flag from Athens to Beijing. Olympic Watch, the International Tibet Support Network and the Laogai Research Foundation are among those endorsing the action. Read more >>>


Statement on torture in China

On the International Day against Torture this June 26, Olympic Watch calls on the government of the People’s Republic of China to stop the abhorrent practices of torture and ill-treatment throughout the PRC. Read more >>>


On Falun Dafa Day, Olympic Watch protests religious persecution

Prague, May 13, 2004 – On the occasion of the Falun Dafa Day, Olympic Watch (Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games in a Free and Democratic Country) has issued a statement today, condemning the religious persecution in the People’s Republic of China. "Olympic Watch condemns the ongoing violation of rights of Falun Gong practitioners, as well as of Tibetan Buddhists, Chinese Christians and followers of other spiritual movements. On this day, our thoughts go to all those who are being detained, tortured and otherwise persecuted for their peaceful activities," reads the statement signed by Jan Ruml, Chairman of Olympic Watch. Read more >>>


Choices in Beijing: On Vaclav Klaus trip to China

Petr Kutilek, Executive Secretary of Olympic Watch, has published an article in the Prague Post, arguing that Czech President Klaus has the obligation to thoroughly discuss Beijing’s human rights abuses during his trip to China. The piece, titled "Choices in Beijing", refuses the typical cultural relativism approach that Klaus and some other Western politicians adopt when dealing with China. The democratic determination of people in Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as of dissidents in the PRC, shows that those Chinese who can or dare to speak their mind freely, understand very well the concepts of human rights and democracy. Read more >>>


Letter to Czech president Klaus before visit to China

Representatives of Olympic Watch and Amnesty International Czech Republic have handed over to the Office of the President a letter, written to Vaclav Klaus by four human rights organizations on the eve of his visit to the People’s Republic of China. In the letter, they appreciate that the Czech president has pledged to discuss the human rights situation in China during his trip, and add specific suggestions for negotiations. Read more >>>


Vaclav Havel protests possible execution of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

Vaclav Havel, former Czechoslovak and Czech president, has joined the efforts to save the Tibetan political prisoner, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. In February he wrote a letter to the Chinese Foreign Minister, protesting the possible execution and calling for respect to the spiritual heritage of Tibet. Chinese authorities repeatedly refused to accept the letter, and President Havel has therefore decided to publish it. Read more >>>


Remembering Free Tibet

On March 10, 2004, people around the world will commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising that was brutally crushed by the Chinese communist army. The oppression of Tibet is not, unfortunately, just a matter of the past. Beijing continues – and in some areas intensifies – the pressure to subdue the culturally and religiously unique people of Tibet. This year again, Olympic Watch joins the commemorative events. Read more >>>


Czech government accepts call for help to Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

Prague, December 15, 2003 – Six human rights organizations have called on the Czech government to help the Tibetan political prisoner, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. They did so through a letter that was handed over to Vice-Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary Cyril Svoboda by Jan Ruml, Vice-Speaker of the Senate and Chairman of Olympic Watch (Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games in a Free and Democratic Country) and Lubomir Sklenka, Chairman of the Lungta association, at the Foreign Affairs Ministry today. Read more >>>


Protest against fabricated trials

The Committee for the Summer Olympic Games 2008 in a Free and Democratic Country wishes to lodge a protest about the increasing number of fabricated trials in People’s Republic of China whereby the Chinese authorities abuse the international community’s struggle against terrorism. Read more >>>

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