Friday, August 8, 2008

Olympic 2008 in CHINA: A document of human rights violation

Olympic 2008 in China: A document of human rights violation

Journalists who encounter problems reporting in China should call the CPJ hotline at +852 6717 0591 and follow daily coverage of media issues during the Olympics on the CPJ blog.

This is an overview of a bunch published reports on China Olympic 2008

The Communist Party officials of Beijing have some definite ideas to confront public dissent and protest. They remain calm and quiet, unperturbed by the allegation of international organizations. It is clear from their appearance, administration, and campaign that they are least bothered by the allegation of international communities. The Guardians of ‘Human Rights’ and ‘Freedom of Expression’ allege that Chinese authorities have violated the charter of Olympic Games.

In filing its official bid the organizers of the Beijing Games were clear-cut when they were involved in the competitive bid process to host the Games in January 2001, Beijing organizers told the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that "there will be no restrictions on journalists" reporting the Olympics. No distinction was made between local and international journalists in this or other public assurances.
Article 51 of the Olympic Charter obliges the IOC to take "all necessary steps in order to ensure the fullest coverage by the different media and the widest possible audience in the world for the Olympic Games." But at present they have retrograde of their promises this is an allegation brought by the international communities. And it is confirmed by the IOC, China's promise in its evaluation of competing cities' bids, that "it was confirmed to the Commission that there will be no restrictions on media reporting." When they were assigned on13 July 2001.

At the time of bidding ‘the 2008 summer Olympic Games’ in 2001, seven years ago, the Chinese police were intensifying a crackdown on subversive elements, including Internet users and journalists. Seven years later, their promise on freedom of expression did not reflect in their attitude, they remained the same. Despite the absence of any significant progress in free speech and human rights in China, the IOC’s members continue to turn a deaf ear to repeated appeals from international organisations that condemn the scale of the repression. This situation is unacceptable and reflects the IOC’s inability to guarantee a favourable environment for the games in accordance with the Olympic Charter. the organisers of the Beijing Olympic Games and the International Olympic Committee are reneguing from their promise.

In 2001, the Chinese government promised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that it would respect free expression in the run-up to the Beijing Games. In May 2007, the government announced new freedoms for accredited foreign journalists in the "Service Guide for Foreign Media". The temporary regulations, in effect from January 1, 2007 until October 17, 2008, allow foreign journalists to freely conduct interviews with any consenting Chinese organization or citizen. The regulations do not allow similar freedoms for Chinese journalists.
The Olympic Charter says sport must be “at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.” Athletes and sports lovers have the right and the duty to defend this charter. The IOC should show some courage and should do everything possible to ensure that Olympism’s values are not freely flouted by the Chinese organisers.
No Olympic Games without democracy!

Freedom of expression: Limited in designated zones
The Chinese government have left some space for public protests inside three designated city parks during Olympic Games, but demonstrators must first obtain permits from the local police and also abide by Chinese laws that usually make it nearly impossible to legally picket over politically charged issues.

No one can review activities in advance before it takes place, so it is not beyond doubt that generous authority will not use its tricks. What does it mean when one say there will be given space for public grievance a ‘Designating special protest zones’. To us it’s clear that Chinese Government is showing the world its civilized mask, hiding behind an ugly face. The promise of allowing free speech and movement became a farce!
We have been watching for long its policy for writers, journalists, bloggers and other dissidents. Many international organization are displaying their protest against the confinement of journalists and writers but indifferent Chinese officials are not changing their repressive manner towards public dissent and protest. So reviewing the content of the expressive activity and allowing public dissent and grievance never expresses the simplicity and sincerity of Chinese Government toward freedom of expression which Chinese government vowed regarding Olympic games.

The then deputy Prime Minister Li Lanqing said, four days after the IOC vote in 2001, that “China’s Olympic victory” should encourage the country to maintain its “healthy life” by combatting such problems as the Falungong spiritual movement, which had “stirred up violent crime.” Several thousands of Falungong followers have been jailed since the movement was banned and at least 100 have died in detention.
Vice-President Hu Jintao (now president) to argue that after the Beijing “triumph,” it was “crucial to fight without evasion against the separatist forces propelled by the Dalai Lama and the world’s anti-China forces.” In the west of the country, where there is a sizeable Muslim minority, the authorities in Xinjiang province executed Uyghurs for “separatism.”
Violation of promise: A document
It is recorded 24 cases of journalists, cyber-dissidents or free expression activists being arrested or sentenced to jail terms since the start of the year, at least 80 foreign journalists have been obstructed in the course of their work, above all in the Tibetan regions and in Sichuan.Around 30 journalists and 50 Internet users are currently detained in China. Some of them since the 1980s.
China’s blog services incorporate all the filters that block keywords considered “subversive” by the censors. The law severely punishes “divulging state secrets,” “subversion” and “defamation” - charges that are regularly used to silence the most outspoken critics. Although the rules for foreign journalists have been relaxed, it is still impossible for the international media to employ Chinese journalists or to move about freely in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Last year the arrest of leading activist Hu Jia in late December, and the start of this year was marked by his sentence to three and a half years in prison. and at least 23 other journalists, online writers and free speech activists have been arrested or sentenced to prison terms.
The release of Ching Cheong and Yu Huafeng, do not necessarily mean the good will of Chinese authority, still they have taken no account of the fact that the health of Zhang Jianhong, a writer better known as Li Hong, and Yang Maodong, a writer better known Guo Feixiong, has deteriorated in prison.
Web sites. Journalist Sun Lin was sentenced to four years in prison on June 26.

The terrible earthquake in Sichuan has not helped to reduce the repression either. Journalist Qi Chonghuai was sentenced to four years in prison the day after the quake. And Huang Qi, a well-known activist who has a human rights website, was arrested on 10 June for reporting the arrest of a person who had been writing accounts of the quake and its aftermath

the public security and state security departments in order to intimidate human rights activists who might try to speak out before or during the games are on the prowl. They stepping on all sorts of voices and increased the harassment of activists who talk to the foreign news media or write articles for overseas.
The Chinese government continues to block and threaten foreign journalists despite repeated promises to lift media freedom restrictions in a report released by Human Rights Watch.
The Chinese government has prohibited local Chinese-language media from publishing unflattering news, leaving foreign media as the only source of factual reporting about a wide range of crucial issues in China today. But systematic surveillance, obstruction, intimidation of sources, and pressure on local assistants are hobbling foreign correspondents' efforts to pursue investigative stories.

"Proponents and critics of the Beijing Games agreed on one thing – that fewer restrictions for international media and scrutiny of China at this time would constitute progress," said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. But they, Chinese government – and International Olympic Committee, jointly, on the contrary, impedeing the progress.
The 71-page report, "China's Forbidden Zones: Shutting the Media out of Tibet and Other 'Sensitive' Stories," draws on more than 60 interviews with correspondents in China between December 2007 and June 2008. It exposes how foreign correspondents and their sources were facing intimidation and obstruction by government officials or their proxies when they pursue stories that can embarrass the authorities, documents official wrongdoing, or reveal social unrest.
In September 2007, senior Reuters correspondent Chris Buckley was attacked and confined by plainclothes thugs after interviewing rural citizens who had come to Beijing seeking redress for abuses committed by local authorities who were held at an illegal detention facility in Beijing. very recently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has refused to investigate death threats made against more than 10 correspondents and their family members in March and April 2008 as Some journalists have suffered serious threats to their lives or safety. Another incident, a European television news journalist suffered similar treatment while trying to report on unrest in Hebei province.

China is also threatening to restrict entry to news organizations that do not toe the line.
In November 2007, a foreign cable news network that had publicly complained about previous harassment and detention by Anhui province officials was informed by a Chinese foreign ministry official that its accreditation to cover the Olympic Games was in jeopardy.

Many news organizations are complaining difficulties in obtaining visas and accreditation of the Games, and several have begun to publicly voice concerns about restricted access to venues such as Tiananmen Square. "Journalists who try to report objectively on the complex realities of modern China are facing real risks” said Richardson
The high-level corruption, ethnic conflicts, social unrest, public health crises, and the workings of China's large detention system, including prisons, labor camps, mental hospitals, and police stations these are the realities in china pose danger to the reporters.

On June 3, police forcibly dragged an Associated Press reporter and two photographers away from the scene of a protest by the parents of student victims. It remains unclear whether foreign correspondents will be able to report growing public demands for accountability.

In Tibetan areas news remains difficult to report. Although the government announced on June 26 that it would reopen Tibet to foreign journalists, it has specified that "previous procedures" will apply. The specified procedures are virtually Impossible. The Tibetans are tight lipped to approaching reporters with important information and much cautious about the fear of retribution for talking to foreign journalists resulting correspondents or reporters unable to verify the origins of the protests or determine how many were ultimately killed, injured, or arrested.

Officials are trying to undermine foreign journalists by intimidating their more vulnerable Chinese sources. In several cases, officials were interrogating them focused on obtaining the names, mobile phone numbers and locations of their local sources. One source for a foreign television journalist was beaten so badly that he required intensive medical attention; after his release, he was placed under house arrest. Other foreign correspondents spoke of sources' subsequently being fired from their respective jobs or being threatened - sometimes with criminal charges - by local authorities. Even licensed international broadcasters have doubts about whether they will be able to report freely. Hein Verbruggen, a senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) official, acknowledged these anxieties in Beijing.

At a press conference marking the opening of the media centers, the local Olympic organizing committee's media head, Sun Weijia, told journalists that live broadcasts would be allowed from the streets of Beijing, including Tiananmen Square, during the Games. Sun's comments appeared intended to allay concerns that live transmissions could be obstructed. Sun denied knowledge of an incident last week in which Chinese police interrupted a live interview by a German broadcaster, according to an official transcript of the press conference. The transcript does not detail the incident, although AP said police had blocked a ZDF interview at the Great Wall.

CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. "That said, we remain dismayed by the repressive conditions under which our Chinese colleagues continue to work. The censorship, imprisonment, and harassment of domestic journalists are the fundamental issues that should be resolved."
the rules, which apply throughout China, were ignored by government officials when journalists tried to cover unrest in Tibetan areas of western China in March 2008, CPJ research shows.
The Reporters Without Borders list of nine things the Chinese authorities must do before the Beijing Olympic Games:
1. Release all journalists and Internet users detained in China for exercising their right to information.
2. Abolish for ever the restrictive articles in the Foreign Correspondents Guide that limit the media’s freedom of movement and work.
3. Disband the Publicity Department (the former Propaganda Department), which exercises daily control over content in the Chinese press.
4. End the jamming of foreign radio stations.
5. End the blocking of thousands of news and information websites based abroad.
6. Suspend the “11 Commandments of the Internet,” which lead to content censorship and self-censorship on websites.
7. End the blacklisting of journalists and human rights activists, which prevents them from visiting China.
8. Lift the ban on Chinese media using foreign news agency video footage and news reports without permission.
9. Legalize independent organisations of journalists and human rights activists.

Reporter C. M. Yeung, of Hong Kong-based Now TV, was reportedly attacked by bystanders on July 24 while filming an argument among people queueing to buy tickets for Olympic events. A group of uniformed police in the area refused to intervene to assist the reporters, and instead demanded that the journalists delete all footage of the incident as well as sign a form agreeing that the matter was now closed.In another incident on July 25, journalist F. C. Law, of Hong Kong's Cable News TV, was reportedly grabbed by police and pushed to the ground after a scuffle in Beijing. Law suffered bruising to his neck. A cameraman from TVB, another Hong Kong broadcaster, attempted to film the incident but police forcefully confiscated the footage. Felix Wong, a photographer for the South China Morning Post, was detained by police during the same incident. The scuffle broke out after police told media personnel that they had strayed outside the permitted reporting zone. Wong told the IFJ, "We were confused by the arrangements because the police kept changing the so-called reporting area."

IOC officials met with local organizers on Thursday and asked them to address the wide international outcry that surfaced when the Internet censorship became apparent earlier this week, IOC Communications Director Giselle Davies told CPJ in an interview today. Since that meeting, "a number of sites have opened up," Davies said.
Amnesty International's main Web site was accessible from the Main Press Center, a site the organization set up to promote debate about human rights in China remained blocked, Agence France-Presse reported. The BBC's Chinese-language Web site was sometimes available, but searches for the banned spiritual organization Falun Gong produced blank pages, The Associated Press reported.

A commentary published by the official Xinhua News Agency, (Xinhua, China's state-controlled news agency.) which typically reflects the government viewpoint, called press freedom a "relative concept." The piece went on to say that "the principal reason for
blocking a few sites is that they disseminate topics that violate Chinese law."

Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported today that police in Kashgar dragged Masami Kawakita, a photographer from the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper's Tokyo headquarters, and Shinji Katsuta, a reporter for Nippon Television Network's China general bureau, from a spot near the explosions that killed 16 police officers on Monday. (The Associated Press reported Kawakita's first name as Shinzou.) The blasts have been described as a terrorist attack. The two journalists suffered slight injuries police forcibly disrupted the Japanese journalists' reporting activities and took them to a room in a nearby hotel, and beat them before releasing them two hours later

Foreigners Protest for Tibetan Independence in Beijing
Four demonstrators were arrested by Chinese authorities in Beijing on Wednesday, Aug. 6, after scaling 120-foot (36.6-meter) light posts near the center of the Olympic park and displaying banners calling for a Tibet free from Chinese rule.
According to police, the group gathered at the Beichen Bridge near the central stadium, known as the Bird's Nest, which will host to Friday's opening ceremony. Chinese officials have enforced a strict ban on any public support for the Tibetan independence movement. Beijing Games spokesman Sun Weide told reporters that China has rules on "assemblies" and expects foreigners to respect them.

Reporters Without Borders condemns an increase in measures aimed at preventing Beijing-based human rights activists from talking to the foreign media. "These measures unfortunately recall those adopted by the Soviet police during the 1980 Olympics Games, when dissidents were forced to leave Moscow," the press freedom organisation said.
the authorities have advised several dissidents and intellectuals living in Beijing to "take a trip" during the games or risk being placed under house arrest. Dissident Qi Zhiyong has been forced to leave the city with his daughter. His mobile phone has been confiscated and he will be kept under close surveillance during his "trip." Qi nonetheless possesses a "hukou," a permit to reside in Beijing.
Hong Qisheng is another dissident who has warned by the police but he has refused to leave Beijing. His wife said: "My husband received a call from the police, asking him to leave the city. I think it is because of the Olympic Games. The police asked us to return to our province of origin during the games but we said we would not go. The police then threatened to arrest my husband. Hong challenged the authorities and wanted to stay in Beijing."
Zhang Zuxian, an intellectual, has received similar threats. He told a Radio Free Asia journalist: "We must stay, for freedom's sake. It is illegal and costly to act like this. It is like throwing money out of the window. Some of my friends have already been arrested while others have been expelled from the capital. We are not wanted for any crime and we are not terrorists. The police are using archaic methods."
. Zeng Jinyan, the wife of imprisoned human rights activist Hu Jia, has been asked by the police, who watch her night and day, not to contact her friends or the media any more. The authorities have also advised her to take a trip during the games.
Reporters from Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) told the IFJ that they were approached by police in Beijing's Chongwen District on July 30 after the police discovered them filming a citizen appealing against the government's acquisition of his land in the appeals department of Chongwen District People's Government.
An RTHK camera operator, who requested that his full name be withheld, said that police demanded he stop filming. He asked police under what law they could prohibit him from filming, but was given no answer.
The camera operator also reported that the police took photographs of himself and a fellow reporter without giving reasons. When leaving the area, police then warned the two media workers to "be careful".
"We felt a bit of insecure because we were within their region, we couldn't guarantee what they would do to us, and at the same time we are quite worried about being followed," one of the journalists told the IFJ.

Reuters reported that its correspondent in Kashgar, Emma Graham-Harrison, was driven away from the attack scene by baton-wielding policemen. China's Foreign Ministry offered its apologies to Kawakita and Katsuta. Xinhua reported that the Kashgar border police and the local foreign affairs department also apologized, and that police will pay for the repairs to their equipment.

After Beijing was awarded the games in 2001, Harry Wu, a Chinese dissident who spent 19 years in prisons in China, said he deeply regretted that China did not have “the honour and satisfaction of hosting the Olympic Games in a democratic country.”
"The Olympic values have been betrayed by the Chinese government," said Tim Hancock, Amnesty's UK campaigns director. "They must release all imprisoned peaceful activists, allow foreign and national journalists to report freely and make further progress towards the elimination of the death penalty - or risk permanently sullying the legacy of the Olympics."
But according to the Amnesty report, the authorities have extended the use of imprisonment without trial - a legal measure called "re-education through labour", and other means to keep protesters and activists out of sight in the run-up to the Games.
It also alleges that the country still uses the death penalty for 68 criminal offences, including a number of non-violent crimes

PEN American Centre and PEN Canada document deteriorating climate for free expression, call on government to live up to Olympic promises:

Three International PEN centers give China a failing grade on free expression one month before the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games on August 8, 2008.

In full view of the international community, the climate for freedom of expression in China has measurably deteriorated over the past year, PEN American Center, PEN Canada, and the Independent Chinese PEN Center were following the cases 51 writers, 44 of whom are still in prison. A grinding, relentless campaign to jail or silence prominent dissident voices and new and brazen efforts to control domestic and international press." China is failing its promises, we are asking the world to join us in holding the Chinese government to its pledges.

- there are more writers and journalists in Chinese prisons than there were seven months ago;
- dissident writers and journalists not in prison face serious restrictions on their movements and on their ability to speak and publish freely;
- Internet censorship and other laws such as subversion and inciting separatism or splittism are regularly used to deny the universally-guaranteed right to freedom of expression;
- China's promises to allow media to report freely throughout China have been undermined by its attempts to manage international coverage from Tibet and earthquake-affected areas and by its refusal to extend any new protections whatsoever to Chinese journalists.

The report recommends that the Chinese government:
- release all writers and journalists currently imprisoned and stop detaining, harassing, and censoring writers and journalists in China;
- end Internet censorship, and reform laws used to imprison writers and journalists and suppress freedom of expression; and
- abide by its pledge that "there will be no restrictions on media reporting and movement of journalists up to and including the Olympic Games."

In addition, the report urges that all nations participating in the Olympic Games press the Chinese government to act on these recommendations and secure clear assurances that no Chinese citizens, Chinese or foreign journalists, athletes or spectators will be detained or otherwise prevented from expressing their views peacefully during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
Yu Zhang of the Independent Chinese PEN Center stressed that fostering respect for basic rights is essential for China's future. "In the end, it is not by staging a successful Olympic Games, but by honoring these commitments that China's slogan 'One World, One Dream' will become true," Zhang said.

Less than three weeks before the Olympic Games open in Beijing, Chinese authorities have re-arrested writer, former political prisoner, and PEN member Du Daobin and filed formal charges against writer and human rights activist Huang Qi.
PEN centers inside and outside China denounced the moves, and called on the international community to pressure the government to end its "blatant attacks against free expression."
Du Daobin, a writer arrested at the Healthcare Reform Office of Yingcheng City, Hubei Province, where he works as a professional clerk. Later, as many as eight police officers from the Public Security Bureaus of Xiaogan City and Yingcheng City searched his home and confiscated computers and written materials, He is apparently accused of violating the terms of his sentence by publishing more than 100 articles on the Internet, leaving the city, and receiving guests without permission from the police. His whereabouts arecurrently unknown. Du's arrest follows the news that formal charges have been pressed against human rights activist and writer Huang Qi. Huang, the director of the Tianwang Human Rights Center, was detained on June 10, 2008. On July 18, when his family arrived at the Chengdu Public Security Bureau's Wuhou Sub-division looking for information about his situation, they discovered that he was being formally arrested for "illegal possession of state secrets." Huang is being held incommunicado at the Chengdu City Detention Center, where he is being denied legal counsel on the grounds that his case involves "state secrets."
Norwegian PEN is both shocked and provoked to learn that the Embassy of the People's Republic of China has refused to issue a visa to renowned China-scholar and translator Harald Bockman, consequently denying him entry to China during the Beijing Olympics. "We find this decision unacceptable, in particular since Mr. Bockman did not plan to spend any time attending the games, but merely follow up on his work as a translator and academic", says Norwegian PEN secretary general, Carl Morten Iversen. Mr. Bockman planned a trip to China for meetings with Chinese scholars to discuss the translation into Chinese of Norwegian poet Olav H. Hauge, participation at a seminar during the World Conference for Translators in Shanghai and guiding a party of 20 Norwegian translators on a trip to Guilin, Chengdu and Xi'an. Mr. Bockman planned to spend the last two days
of his journey - August 17 - 19 - in Beijing. The mere notion that Mr. Bockman represents a security risk during the Beijing Olympics is meaningless and warrants an
unreserved apology from Chinese authorities.

Swimmer Mark Foster to be British Olympic team flag carrier - By Richard Alleyne
Two years ago his swimming career was in tatters after another row with his coaches persuaded him it was time to "retire" from the sport. Now after qualifying for his fifth Games he has been given the ultimate honour by his team-mates - to be their flag bearer at the opening ceremony . Foster, who made his Olympic debut at Seoul in 1988, was expelled from the Olympic Village in Sydney 12 years later for wearing a rival sponsor's swimsuit. His Olympic comeback was assured when he set a new personal best and British record of 21.96 seconds in the 50 metre freestyle this year.
Despite no Olympic medals, Foster, who is 6ft 6in tall and originally from Billericay, Essex, is one of our more successful swimmers . During his career, he has set five world records, seven European records, nine Commonwealth records and 19 British records.

Amanda Beard holds a poster of herself posing naked for an anti-fur campaign Photo: EPA
Ms Beard, a double Olympic Champion, posed for a nude picture as part of a publicity campaign run by the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The swimmer, who is no stranger to showing a little skin - she posed naked for a centerfold in Playboy Magazine last year - said she was determined to use the Olympic platform as a stage for her views.
"What happens with animals when their skin is ripped from their bodies when they are still alive, it's heartbreaking for me," she told reporters.
The Chinese authorities did their best to limit the impact of her protest, shutting down a press conference which PETA had planned on the terrace of a hotel overlooking the 'Water Cube' Olympic swimming venue.
After police turned organisers away from the hotel citing 'safety concerns', Ms Beard was forced to present her message from the side of the main road outside the Athlete's Village.
"It was very disappointing," said Jason Baker, PETA's Asia-Pacific director, "We weren't making a political attack on the Chinese government and had sent our press release in advance to the Beijing Committee, but apparently that was not enough."

The slaughter of dogs in China: The one-dog policy instituted in China was far from a limited campaign–though I just read that due to protests the dog cull was halted in December. But for the record, this is what had happened prior to December 06.
AP reported about the Yunnan campaign: “In one county in the southwestern province of Yunnan, where three people had died of rabies, authorities killed 50,000 dogs, many of them beaten to death in front of their owners.”
Beijing banned households from owning more than one dog or dogs over 14 inches in height
Another owner had his Labrador retriever taken away Wednesday because she was too big. ‘She is a very amicable dog. She never barked,

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz About The Origin Of Olympic
In ancient times, sports originated as peacetime rivalries between warriors. Running, boxing, wrestling, chariots racing were all elements of their military training and the best of them demonstrated their skills in competitive games.

The ancient Olympics, during which the warrior-sportsmen proved their skills, were held for more than 1,200 years.
The first confirmed Olympics took place in 776 B.C., while the last were held in 394 A.D, after which they were banned by the Roman Emperor Theodosius because, he said, they were pagan festivals. For a millennium and a half, mankind forgot about sports.

The ancient tradition was revived only in the late 19th century, when Europe once again came to perceive itself as a common civilisation. A French nobleman, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, was the author of the idea.
He pursued two goals - to make sports more popular at home (he believed that poor physical shape of French soldiers was one of the reasons for the defeat in the 1870-71 war with Prussia), and to unite different countries through peaceful competitions, which he considered the best way of avoiding wars.

The first modern Olympic games were held in Athens in 1896. In the following decades the Olympic movement had to fight for survival, because none of the major powers was interested in Courbertin's ideas.
As a complicated social and political phenomenon, big-time sports emerged in the 1930s when the Third Reich tried to use the Berlin Games to prove the 'Aryan race's supremacy' to the whole world.
This phenomenon became fully established in the 1950s, when Soviet-US competition was transferred to the sports ground. From then on, the idea of sports independent of politics ceased to exist.
Sports were not only subject to politics, but became a major part of it. The superpowers could not afford an open armed clash and Olympics and other international arenas became the only places where the confrontation between Soviet Union and the US, could be fought in real time.
John F. Kennedy said that two things determined a nation's prestige - space flights and Olympic gold medals.
source: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Brussels
Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK)
Reporters sans frontières (RSF), Paris
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Norwegian PEN, PEN American Center, PEN Canada, and the Independent Chinese PEN
Amnesty International
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