Human rights group gives Beijing Games negative verdict

August 25th, 2008 - 12:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 25 (DPA) China failed to win any medals in the human rights department during the Beijing Olympics, a rights watchdog said Monday.The Chinese government “blatantly and successfully” used the Games to realise its political goals, Hong Kong-based Human Rights in China (HRIC) said.

“Yet the carefully orchestrated facade could not conceal a police state that tramples on human rights,” HRIC executive director Sharon Hom said.

The Chinese people were to continue to shoulder the enormous financial, environmental and social costs of hosting the games, the NGO said.

Since 2001, about 1.5 million Beijing residents were forcibly resettled to make space for the construction of the Olympic venues, often receiving little or no compensation.

About 200 million cubic metres of water were used for “greening” Beijing, which is located at the edge of the desert, HRIC said. The water was redirected from the neighbouring drought-stricken Heibei province.

“The International Olympic Committee kept its head in the sand when faced with reports of violations of media access, crackdowns and round-ups, and concerns about air pollution hazards,” Hom said.

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