[JURIST] A Chinese land rights activist arrested for circulating a petition declaring "we want human rights, not the Olympics" will be tried next week, according to Thursday media reports. Yang Chunlin [Amnesty profile] was arrested in July 2007 and charged with "inciting subversion of state power" after obtaining over 10,000 signatures on a petition that said improving human rights is more important than hosting the Beijing Olympics [official website; JURIST news archive]. The former factory worker had also been active in supporting a legal action brought by more than 40,000 local farmers who say that their land was taken by the government without compensation. The Washington Post has more. Radio Australia has additional coverage.
In August 2007, Human Rights Watch reported that China, fearing that activists will embarrass the ruling Communist party by highlighting political and social problems during the Games, is clamping down on human rights activists [press release; JURIST report] and other political dissidents as well as silencing independent media coverage.