Tuesday, 12 February 2008

China's human rights record

Atheist Nick Clegg has criticised the British Olympic Association's attempt to prevent British athletes commenting on China's human rights record, and also Broon's failure to raise the issue of human rights on his recent visit to China.

Clegg is absolutely right. This year's Olympics are a massive event for China, to showcase their nation to the world. The Chinese authorities are desperate for nothing to happen which would cause them a humiliating loss of face. It is also a golden and unique opportunity for public figures - athletes, politicians, whoever - to ensure that China does suffer the loss of face it deserves. The abominable tortures employed against members of Falun Gong and Tibetans, to use two examples, need to be highlighted.

China's growing economic and political power means that there is very little anyone can do against this totalitarian state. One of the few things that will make an impact is to take this chance to shine a spotlight on its nasty little secrets just as it opens its doors to the world.

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