On the eve of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, as President Bush urges Chinese leaders to grant greater freedom to the people of China, sources from within the country have informed Human Rights in China that Chinese authorities continue to detain, harass, coerce, and monitor rights defenders and dissidents in different parts of China.
"In order to ensure a 'Safe Olympics,' the Chinese authorities have put society under a virtual lockdown. The Beijing Olympics is in danger of going down in history as the 'Olympics of Fear.'"
— Sharon Hom, Executive Director of HRIC
In the cases documented by Human Rights in China, lawyers, academics, scholars, petitioners, and rights activists have been put under strict surveillance. In several instances, they have been told that they are being monitored so that they cannot go to Beijing during the Olympics.
"These cases, where the police employed the same method of constant surveillance, reveal the authorities’ systematic strategy for dealing with rights defenders and dissidents," said Human Rights in China Executive Director Sharon Hom. "In order to ensure a 'Safe Olympics,' the Chinese authorities have put society under a virtual lockdown. The Beijing Olympics is in danger of going down in history as the 'Olympics of Fear.'"
Recent activity by Chinese authorities to control rights defenders and dissidents is described in the cases below.
In its response to President Bush's speech, China states that it is a government for the people which puts its people first and protects their basic rights and freedom. We urge the Chinese government to put this ideal into practice so that the Beijing Olympic Games can truly become a People's Olympics as it had promised.