Chinese Regime Using Abusive Methods to 'Clean up' Beijing, Says Amnesty International

August 21, 2007 Updated: August 21, 2007

Amnesty International (AI) Irish branch told the Epoch Times last week that Communist China continues to use abusive methods to control dissent in the run up to the 2008 Olympics.

China's main concern at this stage of its preparation for the Olympics in 2008 is on 'social stability' rather than meeting the commitments it made in 2001 to improve the human rights situation.

Amnesty International spokesperson Roxanne Macara told the Epoch Times, “Despite some limited reforms, China's main pre-occupation as the Olympics approach appears to be with safeguarding 'stability', manifested in exhortations to 'clean up' Beijing and rid the city of 'undesirables'.”

“Unfortunately, the authorities are continuing to rely on abusive methods to do this, such as the use of 'Re-education through labour' and 'Enforced drug rehabilitation' – both of which appear to have been extended in Beijing as a result of the Olympics.”

“We have also seen intensified repression of activists, including several in Beijing who have either been imprisoned or kept under tight police surveillance, including the growing use of 'house arrest',” she added.

Amnesty International also expressed concern at the recent closure of a number of media outlets in China.

“This is a worrying development and appears to be part of wider efforts to strengthen official controls on information in the run-up to the Olympics.”

As part of AI's campaign to pressure Communist China to improve it's human rights situation in the run up to the Olympics they are appealing for the release of a number of individuals who are illegally detained.

“One case we are highlighting in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics is Bu Dongwei, who was assigned to 'Re-education through labour' after the police found Falun Gong literature in his home. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be released.”

At the moment Amnesty International is not calling for a boycott of the 2008 Olympics but has stated that if the human rights situation in China does not improve their position might change.

AI is encouraging people who plan on visiting China during the Olympics to find out more about their campaign to improve human rights in the region before they make the trip (