GOTHENBURG, Sweden—The Human Rights Torch Relay completed another leg, arriving in Gothenberg, Sweden where it was greeted by Members of Parliament representing all major political parties in Sweden.
The torch represents the hope of concerned citizens around the globe that the Chinese people will be granted the human rights guaranteed by the Chinese Constitution and belonging to every human being.
The message of the Torch appealed to Olympic medalist in sailing 1964 and 1972, Pelle Pettersson who participated in the event.
"When one hears about how serious the situation is in China, and there is a possibility to influence the Chinese authorities through activities like this so that the lives of the people can improve, I will definitely support it," said Pettersson.
The Global Human Rights Torch Relay was initiated by CIPFG to call on the international community to prevent the Olympics Games in Beijing from being exploited by the Chinese communist regime to improve its image, despite widespread violations of human rights.
In Gothenburg, a group of sports enthusiasts accompanied by Members of Parliament Karla López and Peter Rådman carried the Human Rights Torch from the Götaplatsen, passing in front of the Chinese consulate, before heading for a rally at Kungsportsplatsen.
Olympic medallist Pelle Pettersson came forward to receive the torch delegation when it arrived.
"I think the Chinese communists have basically no understanding of human rights, but for sure they understand the language of economics," said Member of Parliament Cecilia Wigström.
Over the years the Chinese regime has intimidated countries that criticise its human rights abuses by threatening to impair their business opportunities. Wigström said that China needs to trade with other countries and vice versa, so there is no reason to fear its rage.
"If we have a common line of response within the EU and the USA we will have much more economic power, and I think they will have to consider it," Wigström added.
"Our voices from the Swedish government and the ordinary citizens must be clearer," said Mr. Peter Rådberg who thinks that it is doubtful to host the Olympics in Beijing because China has violated the rules of Olympic Committee and should be disqualified.
Almost all the speakers at the rally have the common point of view that nations should use the opportunity of the Olympics to apply more pressure, and seek for an international coordinated strategy against the regime's criminal acts towards its own people.
"The pressure of the world on China will force the regime to be more open," said Member of Parliament Hans Rothenburg.
Human rights is a moral issue that surpasses ideological differences. But understanding the plight of the victim is not an easy matter. Karla López described her personal experience in living under oppression:
"In fact I grew up in a dictatorship. There was an unbelievable pressure that I felt. People didn't trust each other; people dared not say what they thought. That affected people very much mentally, and how they treated their children within the family. I grew up in an authoritarian society. It is not something that I would wish for other people. I can understand the mechanisms behind. When society is like this, it is sick. It must heal—it must change fundamentally."
Gothenburg city politician Robert Hammarstrand said that the Chinese people's endeavour for democracy and human rights must be supported.
Member of Parliament Hans Linde urged every politician who sets foots in China or meets representatives from the Chinese regime to put human rights high up on their agendas.
"I think it is a pity that western leaders don't make good use of this opportunity," said Cecilia Wigström, referring to the Olympics.
The Human Rights Torch Relay started its journey in Athens, Greece, and has reached seventeen cities in Europe. After Gothenburg it is heading for Oslo. It will eventually cross five continents, bringing its message of hope for an end to the Chinese regime's human rights abuses to the entire world.