Source: BBC News
The human rights situation in China has deteriorated in the run-up to its hosting of the Olympic Games this year, Amnesty International says. It documents the use of “re-education through labour”, the suppression of rights activists and journalists, and the use of arbitrary imprisonment.
A spokesman urged world leaders due to attend the Games, opening in 10 days, to speak out against the violations.
But Beijing responded by saying people who understood China did not agree.
“I hope that Amnesty International can take off the tainted glasses they have been wearing for years and see China in a fair and objective way, and do something more constructive,” said spokesman Li Jianchao.
Beijing routinely denies allegations that it abuses human rights, arguing that recent reforms have improved the situation and saying its economic management has improved the quality of life of hundreds of millions of people.
The China Society for Human Rights Studies, which has links to the government, also dismissed the criticisms.
Spokeswoman Xiong Lei said Amnesty reports “always say that China’s human rights situation is getting worse, but that is contrary to the feeling of most Chinese people”.
“We do feel that we have problems, but we are solving them and the human rights situation is getting better and better,” Ms Xiong told the BBC.
When it was awarded the chance to host the Games, China said it would uphold the values of human dignity associated with the Olympian tradition, says the BBC’s Vaudine England in Hong Kong.
It promised an improvement in human rights, media freedom and better provision in health and education.
But Amnesty International says the opposite has occurred.
The report says that Chinese activists have been locked up, people have been made homeless, journalists have been detained, websites blocked, and the use of labour camps and prison beatings has increased.
“We’ve seen a deterioration in human rights because of the Olympics,” said Roseann Rife, a deputy programme director for Amnesty International.
“Specifically we’ve seen crackdowns on domestic human rights activists, media censorship and increased use of re-education through labour as a means to clean up Beijing and surrounding areas.”
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