Taiwanese, Tibetans urge China to hold ‘human rights Olympics’

August 8th, 2008 - 12:54 am ICT by IANS  

Taipei, Aug 7 (DPA) More than 200 Taiwanese, Tibetans and Chinese dissidents held a rally here on the eve of the opening of the Beijing Olympics to demand China hold a “human rights Olympics”. The rally at Taipei’s Liberty Square was sponsored by some 30 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including human rights groups, labour groups, anti-death penalty alliance, Friends of Tibet, and Taiwan Free Burma Network.

Some Taiwan-based Tibetans and exiled Chinese dissidents also joined the rally.

Representatives from the NGOs made speeches calling on China to improve its human rights records as Beijing promised when it won the right to host the 2008 Olympics.

Participants in the rally signed a petition demanding China hold a “human rights Olympics” instead of a “bloody Olympics”.

The rally also tried to draw public attention to China’s suppression of human rights in Tibet and the Myanmar government’s crackdown on dissidents.

Friday morning, when the Beijing Olympics opens, the 30 NGOs will hold a march through Taipei to demand China restore basic right to Tibetans.

China claims Tibet is part of China but many exiled Tibetans consider Tibet an independent country, even though the India-based Dalai Lama has softened his stance, demanding greater autonomy, not independence, for Tibet.

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