NEW YORK — ; China must quickly clean up its human rights record ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing if it is to welcome the world to China without embarrassment, a U.S.-based human rights group said as Beijing took the Olympic flag at the closure of the Athens Olympics.
“The Chinese government urgently needs to make human rights, labor rights, and press freedom reforms ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games,” the New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement carried on its Web site.
"Responsibilities come with the international prestige China receives by hosting the 2008 Olympic Games," Brad Adams, executive director of the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch said.
"An embarrassing record of continuing human rights abuses is no way to welcome the world to Beijing," Adams said.
China's ruling Communist Party traditionally cracks down on dissenting political opinions and media organizations which report politically sensitive stories. Breakneck economic reforms in the past decade have added to the growing number of rights violations, as corrupt local officials wield power arbitrarily for personal gain.
Find out more:
Human Rights Watch Press Release
Human Rights Watch China Olympics Watch
Unofficial Beijing 2008 Olympic Web site URL