April 28, 2008
Below is an article edited by Kandy Ringer and published by BBSNews:
Before confirming attendance at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies, French President Nicolas Sarkozy should insist on specific human rights improvements from the Chinese government, Human Rights Watch said in a letter released today [27 April 2008].
While acknowledging that the Chinese government's suggestion that it may engage in dialogue with a representative of the Dalai Lama could constitute progress, Human Rights Watch urged France's president to condition his attendance at the ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on four concrete rights improvements:
· implementation of the pledged media freedom for foreign journalists;
· an international commission of inquiry in Tibet, and re-opening the region to reporters;
· the release of Olympic political prisoners; and
· improvements in China's approach to Sudan on the Darfur crisis.
"China's decision to speak with the Dalai Lama's representative is welcome, but key steps remain to be taken before President Sarkozy should agree to attend the Olympic ceremonies," said Jean-Marie Fardeau, Human Rights Watch Paris office director. "As EU president, it is crucial that he not lower the bar in relation to China honoring its Olympic promises."
To read the Human Rights Watch letter to President Sarkozy, please click here.