"When you come to the Olympic Games in Beijing, you will see skyscrapers, spacious streets, modern stadiums and enthusiastic people.|
You will see the truth, but not the whole truth, just as you only see the tip of an iceberg.
You may not know that the flowers, smiles, harmony and prosperity are built on a base of grievances, tears, imprisonment, torture and blood."
—Hu Jia and Teng Biao,
"The Real Situation in Pre-Olympics China (奥运前的中国真相),"
China Rights Forum, No.4, 2007
During China's bid for the Olympics in 2001, Beijing Olympic official Liu Jingmin stated that the Olympic Games are "an opportunity to foster democracy, improve human rights and integrate China with the rest of the world." This pledge was in keeping with the principle of advancing "a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity," as put forth in the Olympic Charter. In spite of these promises and other international human rights obligations, however, the Chinese authorities
These actions fundamentally undermine the spirit of the Olympics. As Hu Jia and Teng Biao wrote in their article "The Real Situation in Pre-Olympics China," "If there is no dignity or human rights, then there can be no real Olympics," and "for anyone who wishes to avoid a disgraceful Olympics, knowing the truth is the first step."
- Have displaced an estimated 1.5 million Beijing residents in preparation for the Olympic Games
- Continue to target human rights activists by imprisoning them, preventing them from leaving or returning to Beijing, and keeping them under tight police surveillance. Learn about individual cases!
- Remain the world's leading jailer of journalists for the eighth consecutive year, with at least 29 journalists in prison in 2007
Human Rights in China (HRIC) has put together the following resources to help you learn about these issues and find out what you can do about them.
Learn about the Olympics and human rights in China
Are you a lawyer, journalist, business person, athlete or visitor who will be in Beijing this summer? Read the materials related to your group to learn about human rights issues in China.
Take More Action!|
You can do more! The following are some actions you can take to help.
Are you planning to go|
to China in 2008?
Blog and document your experience! Send HRIC your photos and stories, or publicize human rights concerns through interactive Web and technology tools such as cell phones, PDAs, Flickr, YouTube and others. Send us your links! Email us at: email@example.com
Are you a writer or a journalist? Take advantage of the promised greater media access for foreign journalists and cover underreported human rights stories. Submit your essays to China Rights Forum! Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us know if you experience Internet censorship in China firsthand. Participate in HRIC's "Log on for Access!" campaign by sending us a list of the websites that you could not access while in China. Include screenshots or pictures of error messages you receive when trying to access those websites. Send the addresses of the blocked websites and any available screenshots to email@example.com
Read the Olympics Blacklist and find out if you are in one of the 43 categories of people reportedly being targeted for investigation and screening by China's Ministry of Public Security. Be alert!
Do you write,|
publish or blog?
Make the "People's Olympics" pledge mean something! Highlight the twelve individuals featured on this website, so that their stories are not lost.
Link HRIC's banner supporting Chinese voices to your blog or website. Find banners to use supporting individuals in detention in China on each individual's "Take Action" page on this website.
Are you a member of a business or professional association?|
Is there a corporate social responsibility or human rights committee in your association? Find out what they're doing about China!
Contact HRIC to explore taking action on a case or issue. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find an International Olympic Committee member near you!|
Ask the IOC member to push for the Beijing Host City contract to be made public, like other contracts. Releasing the contract, which spells out the legal, commercial and financial obligations of the IOC and host city, would make the management of the Olympics more transparent.
Ask the IOC member to help make public the progress report on Beijing's preparations for the Games. This report has reportedly been completed, but remains secret.
Do you live in a Sister City?|
Find out if you live in a city with a relationship to Beijing or one of the other 2008 host cities.
Write to your mayor or city government expressing your concern with the problems outlined above.
Visit HRIC's main website and Olympics website for more ideas, to learn how you can send these letters and other appeals, and to learn how you can send copies to the Beijing mayor and members of the BOCOG!
Human rights obligations, promises and commitments do not have an expiration date! Chinese civil society must continue to flourish even after the closing of the Olympic Games.
In the lead-up to 2008 and after, all governments, UN bodies, foundations and other organizations that have technical assistance programs in China must assess their projects with relevant indicators and international standards.
- "Incorporating Responsibility 2008: About the Issue: Olympics and the Rule of Law," February 2008. Situations of lawyers in China, including the landscape and the trends of the profession, constraints and challenges facing them.
- "Spotlight: Selected Case Profiles of Harassed Defense Lawyers in China," February 2008. Profiles of lawyers in China who have been harassed or targeted because of their work, or who have been met with procedural obstacles in the course of providing clients with a vigorous defense.
- Setback for the Rule of Law-Lawyers Under Attack in China, February 28, 2007. Attack on lawyers, including institutionalized setbacks, procedural obstacles, personal assaults and intimidation, as well as the implications for the development of an independent, transparent, and accountable rule of law.
- Revised 'Lawyers Law' Fails to Protect Lawyers, June 19, 2008. A case showing that the revised Lawyers Law (律师法), which came into force on June 1, 2008, failed short of its goal to "protect the practice of law by lawyers" because of flawed local implementation and the continued abuse by the authorities of China's highly restrictive state secrets laws.
- Chinese Authorities Abuse Licensing System to Harass Rights Defenders, June 02, 2008. Chinese authorities' abuse of its lawyer registration system to harass lawyers who defend people's rights.
- Chinese Authorities Target Lawyers Offering Legal Assistance to Tibetans, April 09, 2008. Official threats against Chinese lawyers offering legal aid to Tibetan detainees.
Athletes and Visitors
- Legal Guidelines for Foreigners—Olympic Traps for Foreigners?, June 05, 2008. A summary of the guidelines promulgated by the Chinese government for foreigners visiting China during the Olympics, which includes warnings about prohibited behavior.
- Olympics Blacklist, September 2007. Some websites posted purported excerpts of an official document listing out categories of people barred from participating in the Olympics.
- China's Environment and Situation of Water, February 12, 2007, Provides an overview of the extent of China's environmental degradation, and examines the growing water crisis and its far-reaching effects on society and public health.
- "One World, One Dream" and Universal Human Rights, September 2007. An open letter representing the unheard voices of more than 40 mainland activists and intellectuals calling for an end to human rights abuses before the Olympics.
 "Incorporating Responsibility 2008: About the Issue: Olympics and the Rule of Law," February 2008, http://www.ir2008.org/02/issue.html.
 Olympic Charter, http://multimedia.olympic.org/pdf/en_report_122.pdf.
 Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, Press release: "China's Olympic dream displaces 1.5 million people: The IOC and the Chinese Government have continuously failed to take responsibility for mass housing rights violations," July 16, 2008, http://www.cohre.org/media.
 Human Rights in China, "Human Rights Situation in China Worsens as Bush Calls for a More Open Society," August 07, 2008, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/68117.
 Committee to Protect Journalists, "CPJ: One in 6 journalists held without charge," http://cpj.org/Briefings/2007/imprisoned_07/imprisoned_07.html.