18 December, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/07/2008
CHINA
Olympics: an entire village arrested for protesting against pollution
In Beijing small protests by Westerners are blocked, but Chinese up in arms against pollution end up in jail. Taiwan’s delegation is warmly received as Bush complains about human rights violation in China just before leaving for Beijing to honour his Chinese hosts.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Small, isolated protests are taking place around Beijing, keeping the police busy trying to stop them. But in Yunnan province more than a hundred people were arrested for protesting against pollution.

Today in Tiananmen Square the director of the Christian Defence Coalition, American Patrick Mahoney, had enough time in front of the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall to say "We have come here today to be a voice to those who are in prison because of their religious belief” before police surrounded him, preventing the many journalists present from interviewing him. He and two other American Christian activists were kneeling to pray before they were dragged away. By contrast police yesterday failed however to prevent four people from hanging two 13-square-metre banners on a utility pole in favour of a free Tibet.

“This is the first of many [protests] that will happen throughout the month,” one of them said before they were deported.

Across town at the Traders Hotel and Novotel Peace Hotel, rooms were painted with the word "release" on the wall and the names of five dissidents, including Hu Jia, the prominent AIDS activist jailed this year, and imprisoned house church leader Rev Zhang Rongliang.

In a mock parody of the Games’ motto, ‘One World, One Dream,’ the words "Our World, Our Nightmare" were also elaborately painted by unknown guests.

At noon, a Tibet-freedom group invited foreign journalists to a hotel near Workers' Stadium, where they wanted to show a film about Tibet on a computer. But they were stopped by the hotel manager who told them: “Think of the people who work here who are at risk.”

What really scares Beijing though are not such isolated protests but violent street outbursts by its own citizens trying to defend their basic rights, incidents like the one that occurred on Monday in Xingquan, Huaping County, in distant Yunnan where 300 resident protested against a new cement plant polluting their water, clashing with company security. Some people were hurt and property damaged.

The next morning police took into custody 107 people suspected of fighting "for further investigating.

Huaping County Chief Cao Jinming vowed stability would be restored. “The criminals involved in this incident,” he said, “must all be dealt with sternly, harshly and swiftly.”

Residents have been protesting for months without much success with the authorities, and protesting during the Olympics is even less likely to get anything from them. After all Beijing is faraway, its officials welcoming the last sport delegations.

Yesterday Olympic Village mayor Chen Zhili, a former Politburo member and now a deputy chairman of the top legislature, warmly greeted Taiwanese athletes in Taiwan’s Minnan dialect, a goodwill gesture that was met with huge applause from the 42 Taiwanese coaches, athletes and officials.

In the capital suspense is mounting ahead of tomorrow’s ceremony, a three-hour extravaganza that should tell China’s story from the stone age to today, mixing history and mythology, dragons and flying phoenixes, Confucius and Shaolin monks, and the legend of Pangu, who created the world by separating yin from yang.

For analysts in such an atmosphere even US President George W. Bush’ statement expressing his “deep concern” over human rights violations in China appear secondary, even when reiterates that “America stands in firm opposition to China's detention of political dissidents, human rights advocates and religious activists.”

Also unimportant is the fact that a Sudanese-born runner, Lopez Lomong, who became an American citizen only 13 months ago and is a member of an athletes group critical of China's policies toward Darfur, was chosen to carry the US flag in the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

What counts for China’s rulers is the fact that in a few hours Bush will arrive in Beijing, a welcome and expected guest at the ceremony inaugurating the Olympics.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
08/07/2008 CHINA
Chinese Olympic titan looks to sky, fearing rain
by Wang Zhicheng
07/25/2008 CHINA
Foreigners banned from watching public protests in Beijing
02/19/2008 CHINA
Legal action against those who put human rights before the Olympics
08/06/2008 CHINA
"Free Tibet" banner raised in Beijing: four foreign tourists arrested
06/17/2008 CHINA - AUSTRALIA
Olympics: pollution threat, Australia shuns opening ceremony
CHINA
Was China truly ready for the Olympics?
CHINA
Olympic flop for Beijing’s hospitality industry
CHINA
Harsh economic winter to follow Olympics
CHINA
Underground Catholics defy police ban, celebrate mass with their bishop
CHINA
Beijing, religious freedom according to the Olympics
CHINA
Lot of criticism and many tears after China’s top champion Liu Xiang pulls out
HONG KONG - CHINA
Hong Kong bishop Tong in Beijing for Games, without meeting city's bishop
INDIA – TIBET – CINA
“We pray for the success of the Games” and for the dream of a better world
CHINA
World leaders welcomed to Beijing. Silence on human rights and terrorist threats
CHINA
Chinese Olympic titan looks to sky, fearing rain
INDIA – TIBET – CHINA
Tibetans involved in non-stop protests but Dalai Lama sends his best wishes for Olympics
CHINA
"Free Tibet" banner raised in Beijing: four foreign tourists arrested
VATICAN - CHINA
Pope: May China open itself to the Gospel
CHINA
The Olympic torch arrives in Beijing, amid tight security and expropriations
VATICAN - CHINA
Benedict XVI's wishes for Beijing and the Olympics
VATICAN
Pope: best wishes for Beijing Games; remembrance of Paul VI
CHINA
Chinese activists to Bush and Sarkozy: Don't forget us at the Games
TIBET - INDIA - CHINA
Wanted: Olympic athletes to remember Tibet in Beijing
CHINA
The China that says "no" to the Olympics
CHINA
Beijing ready for Olympics of suspicion and silence
CHINA
In Qindao, Olympic regatta threatened by algae invasion
CHINA
For the Olympics, prohibited to protest or speak with foreign journalists
TIBET - CHINA
Tibet reopens to foreign tourism, with restrictions for journalists and tourists
CHINA - INDIA - TIBET
Olympic torch in Tibet, but only "for a day". Tibetans arrested in India
CHINA
Fireworks banned in Beijing during Olympics
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
Olympics, bishop of Hong Kong invited to inaugural ceremony
CHINA
Heroes of Tiananmen still in prison
CHINA
Chinese migrants in heavy debt after having worked on the Olympic dream
HONG KONG-CHINA-TIBET-SUDAN
Three billion dollars a year from China for the genocide in Darfur

Editor's choices
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch calls for fasting on Christmas Eve for refugees' return to Mosul
by Joseph MahmoudMar Louis Sako calls on the faithful not to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a "worldly" fashion, with pomp and abundance, out of solidarity with the people who fled the Nineveh plains, persecuted by the Islamic Army. AsiaNews is joining the fast proposed by the Patriarch and calls on all readers to give what they would have otherwise spent in support of the campaign 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul'.
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.