Hu Jintao greets 80 international political figures. Press and TV do not mention the threat of attacks, but residents are afraid to leave their homes. The local population is absent from celebrations. Dissidents, protestant pastor, bishops under surveillance. Jacques Rogge gives his “blessing” to Beijing’s “good” air
Safety is our top concern," said China's Vice-President Xi Jinping in late July, pointing to the deployment of 100,000 troops around Beijing and the surface-to-air missile batteries that protect the main stadiums as proof of the regime's determination to ensure that no terrorist attack would disrupt the Olympic Games.
Disdained by the Chinese majority and harassed by the government, Beijing uses its ethnic minorities to portray itself as a seemingly tolerant and multiethnic nation. Now the identity of China's minorities is threatened by modernization, commerce and pop culture.
"Amnesty International has documented that, since 2001, “tens of thousands of people are reported to have been detained for investigation in the region, and hundreds, possibly thousands, have been charged or sentenced under the Criminal Law; many Uighurs are believed to have been sentenced to death and executed for alleged “separatist” or “terrorist” offences.”
On Aug. 4, four days before the start of the Beijing Olympics, two ethnic Uighurs drove a stolen dump truck into a group of some 70 Chinese border police in the town of Kashi in Xinjiang, killing at least 16 of the officers.
Every aspect of life under totalitarian governments is political, from sports to culture to business. President Bush and other world leaders attending the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics this week should stop pretending otherwise, especially to the Chinese people.
A new report from the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), To Strike The Strongest Blow: Questions Remain Over Crackdown On 2009 Unrest In Urumchi, details widespread human rights violations committed by the People’s Republic of China in the wake of unrest in Urumchi on July 5, 2009.