[JURIST] The human rights situation in China has continued to deteriorate as the start of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games draws closer, according to a report [PDF text; press release] released Tuesday by Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website]. The report, which updated an April AI report [PDF text] detailing ongoing human rights abuses in the country, evaluated the Chinese government on its use of the death penalty, administrative detentions, the detention and abuse of rights activists, including journalists and lawyers, and Internet censorship. The report said that in almost all of these areas, Chinese human rights abuses have remained constant or have increased:
[O]n balance the Chinese authorities have so far failed to fulfil[l] their own commitments to improve human rights. In fact, the authorities have used the Olympic Games as pretext to continue, and in some respects, intensify existing policies and practices which have led to serious and widespread violations of human rights. Within the core areas monitored by Amnesty International, the only sign of significant reform is with regard to the application of the death penalty and the ability of foreign media to cover news stories in China. While these reforms are welcome, they have both been beset by structural weaknesses and a failure to make them fully operational in practice. In other areas, official policy in the run-up to the Games has actually led to a deterioration in China’s human rights situation.
AI recommended that national leaders and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) [official website] encourage China to implement improved human rights policies, but Chinese officials contended [press release, in Chinese] Tuesday that the report was neither fair nor objective. CBC News has more. BBC News has additional coverage.