Wednesday, June 25, 2008



The following appeal is from the IHLO, a Hong Kong office for various international labour unions and other groups concerned with labour rights in the Peoples Republic of China. This month marks the 19th anniversary of the Tienanmen Square protests, events that fundamentally challenged China's managerial ruling class. Today such spectacular events may seem far in the past, but day to day labour challenges to both China's capitalists and managers continue. China "pledged" that the coming Olympic Games would lead to improvements in human rights in their country, but almost a century of history should show just how much a Communist promise is worth. Help pressure the government of China to live up to their promise.


Following China's successful bid for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, both the Chinese authorities and International Olympic Games' officials pledged that the Beijing Olympic Games would be a catalyst for the improvement of human rights in China.

*"By allowing Beijing to host the Games you will help the development of human rights." Liu Jingmin, Vice President of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Bid Committee, April 2001
*"It will help promote all economic and social projects and will also benefit the further development of our human rights cause." Liu Qi, the former Beijing Mayor & the current president of Organizing Committee for the Beijing Olympic Games, 13 July 2001.
*"We are convinced that the Olympic Games will improve the human rights record in China", Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, April 2002.

The international community hoped that China's Olympic promise would end China's ongoing violation of fundamental human rights, including the use of forced labour, the denial of freedom of association and the denial of the right to collectively bargain. In particular, it was hoped that the significant number of labour activists who have been imprisoned for no other reason than trying to exercise basic workers' rights would be released.

What has really happened?

To date, China has failed to live up to its Olympic promise. Basic workers' rights continue to be violated and labour activists continue to be imprisoned. A significant number of labour activists remain in prison for their peaceful actions to defend labour rights. Some of these have been in prison since the 1989 Tienanmen Square Massacre. In fact, ever since China's Olympic promise to improve human rights, more labour activists have been detained. Some have sentences extending well past ever the next Olympics in 2012.

Below is a letter to Hu Jintao, the Chinese President.
The letter asks for his intervention to secure the immediate release of all those currently detained for their peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of association
Please click here for the full list of detained labour activists.

SIGN the Letter
IHLO has highlighted four cases of workers and their supporters and produced a set of postcards to send on their behalf to the Chinese authorities. Click here for the PDF files of the postcards if you would like to take further action in support of individual prisoners.
Show China it cannot get away with breaking its Olympic promise.

Please go to THIS LINK to read more and sign the letter.

President Hu Jintao
Zhongnanhai, Xicheng District
Beijing, China
Dear President Hu Jintao
Following China's successful bid for the Beijing Olympics, China pledged to improve its human rights record. We have collected some 30 cases of long term prisoners who have been detained for their alleged involvement in activities relating to the peaceful exercise of basic labour rights, including freedom of association, the right to peaceful assembly and peaceful demonstrations as well as the right to freedom of expression and information.

We urge you to ensure that your government upholds international and domestic laws supporting the protection of these fundamental human rights and ensures that these workers and supporters are immediately and unconditionally released.
Yours ,

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