Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Boycotting Olympics

It is now only 28 days until the start of the Beijing Olympic Games.

Whilst I am not a great sports enthusiast and we have not had a TV for many years, it is hard not to get caught up in this feast of sport. And of course, there is nothing wrong with that.

With only a month to go, the campaign to boycott the games gathers pace. Reporters Sans Frontieres says

Around 30 journalists and 50 Internet users are currently detained in China. Some of them since the 1980s. The government blocks access to thousands for news websites. It jams the Chinese, Tibetan and Uyghur-language programmes of 10 international radio stations. After focusing on websites and chat forums, the authorities are now concentrating on blogs and video-sharing sites. China’s blog services incorporate all the filters that block keywords considered “subversive” by the censors. The law severely punishes “divulging state secrets,” “subversion” and “defamation” - charges that are regularly used to silence the most outspoken critics. Although the rules for foreign journalists have been relaxed, it is still impossible for the international media to employ Chinese journalists or to move about freely in Tibet and Xinjiang.

The Chinese authorities promised the IOC and international community concrete improvements in human rights in order to win the 2008 Olympics for Beijing. But they changed their tone after getting what they wanted. For example, then deputy Prime Minister Li Lanqing said, four days after the IOC vote in 2001, that “China’s Olympic victory” should encourage the country to maintain its “healthy life” by combatting such problems as the Falungong spiritual movement, which had “stirred up violent crime.” Several thousands of Falungong followers have been jailed since the movement was banned and at least 100 have died in detention.

I think China is a despotic and disgusting regime which should be boycotted. I pledge to switch off (and/or not read) any media outlet about the Olympic Games for the duration. With holidays and a full timetable of test matches, that shouldn't be too difficult.

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Blogger Karin said...

A boycott and not a girlcott? Mind you I have no idea how a 'girlcott' of China would work.

I don't think anyone will notice if I boycott the Olympics. I've never been much of a fan and I certainly had no intention of going to China anyway.

5:20 AM  

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