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Olympics Causing Further Human Rights Abuse

Ironically, human rights abuses in China are actually getting worse because of the upcoming Olympics in Beijing. Amnesty International warns that China's pre-Olympic clean up is not good for dissidents. With all eyes on China, it is certainly trying to appear more stable and harmonious, but the latest report says:

It is increasingly clear that much of the current wave of repression is occurring not in spite of the Olympics but actually because of the Olympics.

China has already announced that it plans to control a natural phenomenon — rain— with a technique that involves dropping chemicals on clouds. If this is the sort of approach the government takes toward unruly weather, I can't imagine how it will control an unruly population.

So, I'm not surprised by Amnesty International's assessment that a positive legacy for the Beijing Olympics looks unlikely. Apparently China wasn't surprised either, as the foreign ministry spokeswoman said: "The organization holds prejudice against China, so you can imagine what kind of report it will release."

Do you still have any hope that the Olympics, with all the attention, might inspire reform in China? Or could they be heading in the opposite direction?


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