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China’s repression continues after Beijing Olympics, media and dissidents fight back (5)

Posted by Author on February 8, 2009

Reporters Without Borders, 5 February 2009 –

Would-be protesters still threatened

Some would-be protesters have been released, including the two elderly women who were given a reeducation sentence for requesting permission to demonstrate in one of the Beijing locations designated for this purpose during the Olympic Games.

But the police continue to prevent peaceful protests. For example, someone representing people who had been evicted from their land in Hubei province was arrested in mid-December for planning to go to Beijing to demonstrate.

Three Jiangsu province petition organisers were freed at the end of September after being held in illegal prisons during the Olympic Games. But according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders, Liu Xueli, a campaigner against forced evictions who had asked for permission to demonstrate in a designated place in August, has been sentenced to 21 months of reeducation through work. And Fuzhou-based petitioner Ji Sizun is still being held for wanting to demonstrate in Beijing during the games.

Ye Guozhu was meanwhile released in October after accepting compensation for the demolition of his home during the renovations carried out in Beijing in the run-up to the Olympic Games. He was to have been freed at the end of July, but the authorities decided to keep him in detention while the games were going on.

Finally, a Shanghai petitioner was beaten by police for daring to request assistance for his elderly mother who had to be hospitalised as a result of the stress she suffered during the games, when he was being kept under close police surveillance.

And the International Olympic Committee’s take?

“Exceptional games,” IOC president Jacques Rogge said at a news conference just before the closing ceremony. “The biggest intangible legacy of the games, and also a very important one, is that through the games, China has been scrutinized by the world, China has opened up to the world.” (END)

Repression continues six months after Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, but media and dissidents fight back, The Reporters Without Borders

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