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Olympic Watch responds to Beijing organizer’s claims

Olympic Watch chairman Jan Ruml responded to claims made by Wang Wei, vice-president of the Beijing Organizing Committee, at a press conference in Beijing today (as reported at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7560269.stm).

“For Wang Wei to claim that the Beijing Olympics has led to greater respect for human rights is an outrageously absurd statement,” said Jan Ruml, chairman of Olympic Watch.

“The organizers have simply not delivered on their promises of complete media freedom. They also continue to detain potential protesters even as they ostensibly allowed protest zones in Beijing. Just like the fake digital fireworks or the insulting singing girl trick at the opening ceremony, this is another embarrassing proof that the Chinese Communist Party is trying cover up reality and abusing these Games for its own propaganda purposes,” said Ruml, himself a former political prisoner under communist Czechoslovakia.

Olympic Watch is a human rights organization set up in Prague in 2001 in response to the decision to grant the 2008 Olympics to Beijing. It has campaigned to help keep the Chinese government accountable for the public pledges its officials made in 2001 regarding human rights improvements, including “complete media freedom.” Its website is at www.olympicwatch.org. It has called on Olympians in Beijing to speak out on behalf of people persecuted by the Chinese government.

Media contact: Petr Kutilek, press@olympicwatch.org, +420 608 560 503.

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