WARSAW—The Polish Transplant Sports Association (PTSA) and World Solidarity took strong positions against the holding of the 2008 Games in Beijing, during a Polish parliamentary conference linking the Olympics and the human rights situation in China.
"We are opposed to holding the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, as for many years human rights have been abused in China. This includes the harvesting of organs from death-row prisoners, and also, even worse, the harvesting of organs from practitioners of Falun Gong, against their will and while they are still alive," said Krystyna Murdzek, PTSA President, reading the protest statement.
Concurrently, World Solidarity issued an "Appeal to the Polish leaders and public opinion to cease participation in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing." The appeal was endorsed by Andrzej Gwiazda, one of the founding fathers of the Polish Solidarity movement, along with Polish parliamentarians and human rights activists Andrzej Czuma and Julia Pitera, and past Amnesty International Poland Director Bogusław Stanisławski, among others.
Both protests were presented at an October 9 conference co-organized by the Polish Parliamentary Justice and Human Rights Committee (PPJHRC) and The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), which focused on using the impending Games to try to better the human rights situation in China. Polish parliamentarians Cezary Grabarczyk, PPJHRC Chairman, and PPJHRC Vice-Chair Arkadiusz Mularczyk presided over the event.
Polish Parliamentary Justice and Human Rights Committee member and parliamentarian Iwona Arent listens to speakers at The 2008 Olympics: An opportunity to better the observance of human rights in China conference on October 9. (Conrado E. Maul, Special to the Epoch Times)
Conference speakers explored Chinese state human rights violations against Tibetans, Falun Gong, and other persecuted groups, along with how the People's Republic of China's (PRC) economic rise has been used by the Chinese leaders to further entrench systems of societal control.
Statements from the Chinese communist regime have repeatedly attacked attempts by human rights groups to link human rights improvement with Beijing being allowed to hold the Olympics, as "politicization" of the Games.
"Demanding Chinese respect for human rights … amounts only to asking for respect for the Fundamental Principles of the Olympic Charter," said international human rights lawyer and conference speaker David Matas, in response to this view. Matas also demanded that all people regardless of political, religious or ethnic orientation be allowed to participate in and attend the games, contrary to a leaked confidential PRC document .
Apart from debating how the Games could best be used to better the human rights realities in China, conference attendees saw a slideshow of 65 Chinese who had lost their lives at the hands of the state following the decision to grant the 2008 Olympics to Beijing. For the duration of the event, slides continued showing evidence of torture, as well as images from a CCP state security manual instructing personnel on how to enact torture methods.
ONLY IF ETHICAL: Krystyna Murdzek reads the text of the protest against the Beijing 2008 Olympics, calling for ethical transplantation in China, in the Polish Parliament on October 9, 2007. (Conrado E. Maul, Special to the Epoch Times)
Polish elected officials have been strong on human rights in the PRC recently, commented Ministry of Foreign Affairs Asia Pacific Department First Secretary, Konrad Maziarz.
Ludwik Dorn, Speaker of the Sejm, spoke at length about human rights with Politburo Standing Committee Member Wu Bangguo, during Wu's official visit to the country last May, said Maziarz.
Dorn also granted the conference organizers use of the Sejm's Column Hall, the Polish parliament's prize meeting space, indicating his stance on the issue, said Grabarczyk, adding that he hoped that some famous Polish personalities such as Lech Walesa would soon take up the issue.
The PTSA is an organization supporting ethical transplantation and an active lifestyle for transplant recipients, and part of the World Transplant Games Federation.
A conference attendee from the Other Space Foundation asks a question at The 2008 Olympics: An opportunity to better the observance of human rights in China conference on October 9. Over 60 people attended the event. (Conrado E. Maul, Special to the Epoch Times)
World Solidarity is an international coalition of non-governmental organizations and individuals fighting for human rights in communist states, initiated in Poland in November 2006. Its first appeal was to the Polish Olympic Committee.
Other groups supporting an Olympic boycott unless Beijing changes its approach include Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China.
In a letter to the conference, 2006 Olympic Bronze Medallist Martins Rubenis, echoed the message of the two protesting organisations:
"I appeal to the entire world to unite and stop this blemishing of the Olympic ideals with blood."
Text of protest by the Polish Transplant Sports Association
Download .pdf of actual protest document here: [ English | Polish ]
The Polish Transplant Sports Association supports transplantation conducted in accordance with basic ethical standards.
The ideals of the Olympic Games are also dear to us.
We are opposed to holding the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, as for many years human rights have been abused in China. This includes the harvesting of organs from death-row prisoners, and also, even worse, the harvesting of organs from practitioners of Falun Gong, against their will and while they are still alive.
This movement [Falun Gong] is wholly apolitical, and its persecution, implemented by the Chinese government, has no justification. Further, such organ trafficking conducted with state complicity demands condemnation on the part of governments of other countries and transplantation communities.
These types of activities have been exposed on multiple occasions by international organizations working in China, and we are perplexed that despite this, China was chosen as the host of the 2008 Olympics. This is evidence of the commercialization of the Games, and runs afoul of the Olympic spirit.
If there is no respect for ethical transplant practices in China, there shouldn't be an Olympics in Beijing.
We hope that our protest, alongside protests in other countries, will help to change the fate of persecuted groups in China.
Signed, Krystyna Murdzek, PSTA President
Text of the World Solidarity Appeal
Download .pdf of the actual appeal document here: [ English | Polish ]
No 2008 Olympics in Beijing!
APPEAL to the Polish leaders and public opinion to cease participation
in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Less than a year remains before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The leaders of the People's Republic of China continue to ignore basic human rights. Reports from Amnesty International, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, the Helsinki Foundation, and the Committee to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China, describe examples of execution and jail time for beliefs, organ harvesting from prisoners and other detainees, censoring, spying on reporters and attempts to intimidate people who fight for freedom in communist China.
The Olympic Charter states: "The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity." The International Olympics Committee says, "The role of the IOC is to run the promotion of the Olympics in accordance with the Olympic Charter" and that the IOC can give its support, at any time and in anyway that they see as correct, for the international multidiscipline competitions—regional, continental or world competitions—as long as they are held in absolute accordance to the Olympic Charter. In the case of the CCP we can be completely sure that these requirements are not met.
The decision made by IOC to allow communist China to hold the 2008 Olympics has to be seen as a scandal and disgrace. Poland as well as other countries back out from taking part in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Taking part in the Olympics is voluntary and this is especially the case in the situation where we don't have the slightest problem of proving that the 2008 Olympics in Beijing violate the rules set down in the Olympic Charter and the Olympics itself.
We would like to appeal to the Polish government and to public opinion to withdraw from taking part in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.