Terry Bettger | 07.08.2007 15:58
The banner at the Great Wall of China
In Tibet the situation for Tibetans becomes steadily worse as the population becomes more and more diluted by a programme of mass immigration of Chinese citizens, increased by the opening last year of the controversial railway linking China to Lhasa. Religious and civil freedoms remain oppressed, and a government-sponsored resettlement programme is forcing many Tibetan nomads from their land. Many political prisoners remain incarcerated, whilst the UN's Special Rapporteur on Torture, Dr Manfred Nowak, states that torture is "consistent and systematic" in Tibet.
In the build-up to the Games the Chinese government have broken their own pledge for media freedom by imposing severe restrictions on journalists in Tibet and Xinjiang. As global media attention increases however, six young activists have shown that they cannot be silenced, and China cannot attempt to shield its human rights record by simply trying to conceal it under a media clampdown and the sheer dazzle and spectacle of the world's biggest sporting event.
The world is watching.