2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, capital of human rights violations : the IOC Ethics Commission must investigate

Press release
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The International Olympic Committee has awarded today the organisation of the 2008 Olympic Games to Beijing. With this decision, contrary to its own Charter, the IOC undeniably cautions a regime where serious human rights violations occur on a daily basis. The Chinese regime will for sure turn this situation into profit.

The FIDH considers that the choice of Beijing to host the Olympic Games, without concerns about the human rights situation, - and furthermore without any guarantee from the Chinese government in this domain - is contrary to the fundamental principles governing the IOC and to the actual goal of the Olympism which is "to place everywhere sport at the service of the harmonious development of Man, with a view to encouraging the establishment of a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity" (Fundamental Principle number 3 of the Olympic Charter).

Furthermore, the FIDH notes that "the spirit of humanism, fraternity and respect for individuals which inspires the Olympic ideal requires the governments of countries that are to host the Olympic Games to undertake that their countries will scrupulously respect the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter" (§ V.1 IOC Code of Ethics). The oath sworn by the members of the IOC formally binds them to guaranty the respect of these fundamental principles (cf rule 20 § 1.3 of the Olympic Charter).

In an Open letter to the IOC members, on July 4th, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), reminded them of their duty to obtain serious commitments from the Chinese authorities regarding human rights and to implement a system monitoring on the respect of those commitments.

The FIDH considers that the decision taken today requires the intervention of the IOC Ethics Commission. It has to investigate about the conditions that led to this decision and to advocate the sanctions that would be implicated by a confirmed violation of the Olympic Charter and of the IOC Code of Ethics. The Olympic Games may be a sportive event, nonetheless they involve international relations and governments. Thus, they can not be get away from the universal standards and values on which the international community is based: the universally recognised human rights.

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