Victims of Beijing Olympics: Villagers’ Rights Abused in Preparations for the GameComments Off on Victims of Beijing Olympics: Villagers’ Rights Abused in Preparations for the Game
Victims of Beijing Olympics: Villagers’ Rights Abused in Preparations for the Game
(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, February 4, 2008) — According to a report released on February 3 by Citizens’ Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW), a Hubei-based grassroots organization, corruption and human rights abuses were involved in the Beijing government’s land appropriation and clearing of villages to make way for the 2008 Olympics main venues.
Between November 2007 and January 2008, CRLW surveyed villagers whose land is appropriated and housing demolished to make room for the main venues for the Summer Olympics. Villagers surveyed are from two villages: one located at the Olympics Village Street (Area) Office (formerly known as Chaoyang District Wali Village) and the Datun Street Office (formerly known as Chaoyang District Datun Village).
Although the government made some efforts to compensate for the losses of these villagers, many incidents of deprivation and abuses occurred and villagers’ efforts to seek redress suppressed. Reportedly, villagers were not compensated fairly and adequately. Local government used violence in demolishing the villages. In addition to these abuses, villagers also reported dissatisfaction towards local government corruption during the process.
In the report, CRLW documents villagers’ efforts in defending their rights. For instance, in response to the abuses and corruption, about 200 villagers jointly petitioned the government, organized a month-long sit-in and filed a lawsuit against the government.
Some villagers faced punishment for defending their rights. For example, Ma Jingxue (马景雪), a villager from Wali village, was twice sent to Re-education through Labor for “rogue behaviour” for a total of three years. Ma was petitioning the government for adequate compensation. Lu Qingcheng (吕庆澄), a villager from Datun village, was detained for eight days as he attempted to seek redress from the government for the properties lost and damaged during forcible demolition. Twenty other villagers who went with Lu to petition the government were detained for two days.
Please find the CRLW report in Chinese here: