[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday urged China to institute a moratorium on capital punishment [press release] in preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympics [official website]. HRW commended China for the reported decrease in the number of executions [JURIST report], but expressed concern that "systemic weaknesses in the trial process" remain a serious issue throughout the country. HRW urged the International Olympics Committee to join it in the call for a moratorium on executions in China [JURIST news archive].
HRW maintains [backgrounder] that the Olympics provide an opportunity for China to represent that it can protect human rights. HRW and other rights groups have recently slammed China [JURIST report] for not keeping its promises to improve human rights and press freedom in preparation for the 2008 Olympics. In August, Reporters Without Borders [advocacy website] demonstrated in Beijing in protest of the continued detention of nearly 100 journalists and activists.