Monday, February 11, 2008

China Is Forcing Olympic Athletes To Promise They Won't Criticize Chinese Government

Well, technically it's the Olympics themselves, but China is a-o-k with it.

England is caving to the demands. I wonder who is next.

British Olympic chiefs are to force athletes to sign a contract promising not to speak out about China's appalling human rights record – or face being banned from travelling to Beijing.

The move – which raises the spectre of the order given to the England football team to give a Nazi salute in Berlin in 1938 – immediately provoked a storm of protest.

The controversial clause has been inserted into athletes' contracts for the first time and forbids them from making any political comment about countries staging the Olympic Games.

It is contained in a 32-page document that will be presented to all those who reach the qualifying standard and are chosen for the team.

From the moment they sign up, the competitors – likely to include the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips and world record holder Paula Radcliffe – will be effectively gagged from commenting on China's politics, human rights abuses or illegal occupation of Tibet.

Prince Charles has already let it be known that he will not be going to China, even if he is invited by Games organisers.

It's pretty sad when Prince Charles is the moral compass, and pillar of strength in England. At least it looks like England is backing off on the gag order.

Exit question: If you are a guest of China ... should you insult your host? Why not just withdraw from the Olympics if you are so opposed to the hosting country?


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