Human Rights in China getting worse, not better.

April 4, 2008 in actions, campaigns, china, events by Emma

BBC report

Amnesty report

So, Amnesty says that Chinese human rights are getting worse ahead of the games, because they are ‘clamping down on dissent in order to portray a stable and harmonious image’.

This is just one of many views wandering around the internet, along with plenty of others in the pubs and meeting halls of the country as the Olympics, and by extension China, come into focus now that the torch is on it’s way around the world. I am certain that there will be plenty of protests along the way, in fact Amnesty have one planned for London on Sunday. The Chinese Ambassador is rumoured to have pulled out of the London torch relay, although that isn’t confirmed. The same article mentions the Chinese students who will be counter-demonstrating in support of the games.

On the one hand, China have recently allowed the English BBC website through their filters, a decision which provoked much interest from Chinese internet users – read some of their thoughts here.

On the other hand, there are riots in Tibet, Nick Clegg urging Gordon Brown to boycott the games, and politicians asking George Bush to do the same (mentioned in the report linked at the top).

So, are the Games improving things or not? It seems to me that on the surface, things will get better, for a little while. There will be a few highly publicised ‘improvements’. And then, when the games are over and the spotlight is taken away, China will go straight back to ignoring human rights like always. It is up to Amnesty, HRW and everyone of a similar mind to make sure that spotlight stays there and encourages real, long term change.