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Wanted: Olympic Pressure Applied By Activists
The China Support Network is seeking help from you, as a supporter of human rights. Concerned activists are now asked to apply pressure with a letter (below), sending outrage to the International Olympic Committee. The reason? China is now using the Olympics as a reason to crack down harder with human rights abuses! This is after the 2008 Olympics were awarded to China last year.
China is undergoing a seven-year "Olympic crackdown," according to official Chinese orders that were uncovered and leaked by activists. (More information follows below.)
The China Support Network's Executive Director, John Kusumi, said, "Is this the way to greet the Olympics? How many are dead in the Olympics' name? For the image and brand name of the Olympics, this is a global disgrace!"
Your help can make a difference. Please copy-and-paste the letter below to your own stationary or blank document. Fix it as needed to make it your letter, then send it to:
Jacques Rogge, President
International Olympic Committee
Ch?teau de Vidy
June 10, 2002
President Jacques Rogge
The International Olympic Committee
Chateau de Vidy
Dear President Rogge,
I am writing to express my outrage at recently uncovered secret orders of the Chinese government, using the Olympics as a pretext and excuse for a human rights crackdown, and to express my support for the campaign to move the Olympics to a more suitable location.
The Communists crossed a line in using the Olympics to justify a crackdown. In the first place, they should not be violating people and abusing their basic rights, which are internationally recognized to be universal. In the second place, they should not be using the Olympics for such purposes. In the third place, they should not be creating linkage between their unsavory practices and the Olympic name. To avoid a bad name or foul stench for the Olympics, China must forfeit its holding of the 2008 Olympics, and the games must be moved to a more suitable location.
I stand with Falun Gong, the Chinese freedom and democracy movement, and the China Support Network as they call for this necessary action, in the face of this flagrant and blatant provocation by the Chinese authorities.
I trust that your office will support this call to keep the Olympics "on the same page" with standards of civilized human society. Failing that, in the alternative, I will join in the boycott of Olympic advertisers in connection with those games.
Olympics Under Pressure From Chinese Dissidents
DISSIDENTS CRY "FOUL" AS WORLD
LEARNS OF "OLYMPIC CRACKDOWN"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- The Olympics are in trouble, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) faces a new controversy, as Chinese dissidents believe they have the "smoking gun" document showing that the Chinese government is misusing its host status for the 2008 Olympics. Amid howls of outrage, dissidents and human rights groups seek to prompt removal of the Olympics from Beijing, China -- and moving the Olympics to Toronto, the runner-up city.
The controversy began last month, when it was uncovered that the Chinese government issued secret orders for an Olympic crackdown -- a human rights crackdown, complete with religious persecution, that names the Olympics as a pretext and reason for rights abuses. The Olympic crackdown was ordered to begin in May, 2000 and continue until 2008. The document ordering this crackdown was released last month by the Free China Movement and the Committee to Investigate Persecution of Religion in China (CIPRC).
The IOC may also be embarrassed by the time frame of the crackdown -- it was ordered to begin over thirteen months before the IOC cast its votes for Beijing. This indicates that Chinese leaders were very confident in the outcome of that vote, over a year in advance. Because this crackdown has already been underway for two years, "there is already a body count from the Olympic crackdown," says John Kusumi, a leading activist, referring to deaths of practitioners from the Falun Gong, a spiritual sect which has been heavily persecuted by China in recent years.
Outrage has begun to appear, as in a widely-circulated Op-Ed of last month titled, "Olympic Misbehavior From China." The Free China Movement and the China Support Network are each directing fire at the International Olympic Committee. The sense of the Chinese pro-democracy movement is that the IOC, to protect the brand name of the Olympics, must remove the Olympics from this flagrant religious and human rights persecution. The China Support Network has launched an action of pressure to "take the Olympics back" from China for 2008, likely moving them to Toronto.
Chinese dissidents this week observed the 13th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. The wounds of that crackdown remain unhealed, and in annual speech making, the dissidents excoriated the new Olympic crackdown. In a ringing speech, John Kusumi of the China Support Network breathed fire at the President of the IOC -- "No way, Jos?! No way, Jacques Rogge!" According to Kusumi,
The China Support Network can scarcely imagine that any editorialist, sports commentator, or sports fan would not be revolted by what we've uncovered. This is a human rights problem in China, and a moral imperative for the IOC. Attaching the Olympic name to a human rights crackdown will never do. This is unacceptable, and by the time you've thought about it, this vile order should produce a visceral, gut revulsion among people with human decency everywhere.
Inserted below this release, find a related Op-Ed column, "Olympic Misbehavior From China."
The China Support Network became the leading group of Americans responding to Tiananmen Square's tragedy in 1989. For the latest of its actions, visit the URL, kusumi.com/action.
May '02 Op-Ed:
Olympic Misbehavior From China
|By John Kusumi |
China stepped over a line in secret orders, for an Olympic-related crackdown on human rights, as leaked last week by the Free China Movement. The orders made use of the Olympics as a pretext and excuse for a severe crackdown, slated to last through the six years remaining between now and the 2008 Olympics.
"To better welcome the smooth holding of the 2008 Olympic Games in our country," the order "in accordance with regulations from [China's] Ministry of Public Security [the national police headquarters] and Supreme People's Court" describes four levels of punishment for those who do not "obey the suggestions" of the government.
Two of the four levels include specific instructions to conduct arrests without warrants; and, the harshest level of punishment is reserved for practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. In March, police in Changchun were seen to be forcing Falun Gong practitioners out of high rise windows, as the suffering of Falun Gong rose to around 1,700 dead; 20,000 labor camp sentences; and 100,000 arrests.
This is unacceptable conduct in the first place -- and it is unacceptable use of the Olympics' name in the second place. This outrage will rock the sports world, and forms the reason why the International Olympic Committee must revisit the decision which made China the site of the 2008 games.
In marketing, image is everything, and no alert marketing executive in the free world would want his or her brand name associated with the type of conduct represented in China's crackdown on Falun Gong. Howls of outrage will also come from the human rights community, and from the Chinese freedom and democracy movement, where the selection of Beijing was opposed as the IOC made its decision last summer.
The China Support Network has already launched a pressure campaign to "take the Olympics back" from China, and this is the rightfully indicated course of action for the IOC. The secret orders of the Chinese government also list the start date of the crackdown as May 20, 2000 -- fully thirteen months before the Olympic committee made its decision. Eyebrows may rise, where China's leaders were very confident in the outcome of the vote.
The raised eyebrows may go through the roof, in the cities which were passed over in that outcome -- Toronto, Paris, Istanbul, and Osaka. The likely destination of a moved Olympics would be Toronto, which received the second highest number of votes. Organizers of Toronto's bid knew in their hearts that they had the most deserving bid, with all being right, well, and in order. They had boldly predicted a win, and through a twist of fate, they may yet host the 2008 Olympics.
The Free China Movement and the China Support Network are now pushing for this decision, although it should actually be a no-brainer at the IOC, for supporters of human rights, and for all those with any standards of human decency. If more incentive is necessary, the China Support Network, with others, will also boycott Olympic advertisers in the event of a Beijing Olympics in 2008.
It is time now for the Olympic community to side with people and humanity, reflecting our revulsion at the type of systemic abuse reflected in this flagrant order, which is at once tawdry, seedy, and blatant. It is certainly beneath dignifying with the Olympic name. Where China has now offended our sensibilities, we must send a message back to China: The world has higher standards than this.
John Kusumi is the founder of the China Support Network.