Olympic Pick of Beijing Irks Critics

Cite China´s Human Rights Abuses

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 13, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Beijing is getting the Olympics in 2008, but not everyone is happy about it.

Following the decision today by the International Olympic Committee to award the 2008 Olympic Games to the Chinese capital, the Tibetan government-in-exile slammed the choice.

In New Delhi, India, the Dalai Lama´s government-in-exile said the decision would encourage repression in China.

«We deeply regret that Beijing is awarded the 2008 Olympic Games,» spokesman for the India-based Central Tibetan Administration Kalon T.C. Tethong said in a statement. «This will put the stamp of international approval on Beijing´s human rights abuses and will encourage China to escalate its repression.»

In Washington, D.C., the Family Research Council expressed outrage at the selection of Beijing.

«We are giving the crown jewel of world sporting events to a country that perhaps has the worst human rights record since Nazi Germany,» said Bob Maginnis, council vice president of policy.

«The spirit of the Olympic Games is that of freedom, good will, cooperation and high ideals among the nations of the world,» Maginnis said. «But the government of the People´s Republic of China has a long history of religious persecution, forced abortion, harvesting of organs, and other egregious human rights violations. The government is also ignoring sex trafficking. Allowing Beijing to host the games sends the message there is no price for a very serious record of human rights abuses.»

In England, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) condemned the awarding of the Games to China, warning that the move will do nothing to stop human rights abuses such as China´s policy of enforced sterilization and abortion.

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC´s political secretary, said: «We believe that awarding the games to Beijing will boost this regime and provide cover for its human rights abuses, just as the 1936 Berlin games boosted Hitler´s régime.»

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