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The Olympic torch, bound to climb Mount Everest in May, is unexpectedly turning into the loudest voice for human rights violations in Tibet and China yet.
Protesters made the torch’s journey through London more like “running the gauntlet than a journey of celebration,” according to AP.
In Paris today, the Olympic torch relay was cut after authorities were forced to ride buses and play hide and seek with protesters armed with fire extinguishers. And only a few hours ago three climbers scaled the Golden Gate Bridge in US, flying a “Free Tibet” banner there.
The growing human rights storm is seriously tarnishing the Olympic movement and International Olympic Committee head Jacques Rogge said he is “very concerned about unrest in Tibet,” his strongest statement yet. “Violence for whatever reason is not compatible with the values of the torch relay or the Olympic Games,” Rogge said. It’s unclear though if he meant protesters’ or China’s violence.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has urged Bush to consider a boycott of the opening ceremony and today, as the first presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton chimed in.
Nancy Pelosi said that in her opinion China should not have gotten the Olympic Games to begin with. “They did get them with the promise that they would open up more and have better respect for human rights and freedom of expression. They have not honored that,” Pelosi said.
In spite of the Olympic celebrating sportsman ideals; international climbers have already been banned from Everest north side. China’s ban on freedom of expression is also stretching outside its borders. World climbers on Everest south side (Nepal) have been forced to sign papers on forced censorship in order to get their permits, and their communications gear is to be locked up in order to protect “bilateral relationship between Nepal and China.”
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