Read the Bills Act Coalition

Thursday, June 12, 2008

You Better behave in Bejing during the Olympics or Else!

From CNN/ Asia, China has a list of rules for all foreign visitors and they mean business... : People are shown in late April walking past a sign in Beijing warning foreigners.... The Beijing Olympic organizing committee issued a stern, nine-page document Monday that covers 57 topics. Written in Chinese only and posted on the official Web site, the guide covers everything from a ban on sleeping outdoors to the need for government permission to stage a protest....Visitors also should know this: Those with "mental diseases" or contagious conditions will be barred....Some parts of the country are closed to visitors -- one of them Tibet....Olympic tickets are no guarantee of a visa to enter China....Fearing protests during the August 8-24 Olympics, China's government has tightened controls on visas and residence permits for foreigners. It has also promised a massive security presence at the games, which may include undercover agents dressed as volunteers....The guide said Olympic ticket holders "still need to visit China embassies and consulates and apply for visas according to the related rules."...The government hopes to keep out activists and students who might stage pro-Tibet rallies that would be broadcast around the world. It also fears protests over China's oil and arms trade with Sudan, and any disquiet from predominantly Muslim regions in western China.

Official Beijing Olympics Web site
"In order to hold any public gathering, parade or protest the organizer must apply with the local police authorities. No such activity can be held unless a permit is given. ... Any illegal gatherings, parades and protests and refusal to comply are subject to administrative punishments or criminal prosecution."...The document also warns against the display of insulting slogans or banners at any sports venue. It also forbids any religious or political banner at an Olympic venue that "disturbs the public order."...The guidelines seem to clash with a pledge made two month ago by International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge, who said athletes could exercise freedom of speech in China. He asked only that athletes refrain from making political statements at certain official Olympics venues...."Freedom of expression is something that is absolute," Rogge said in Beijing in April. "It's a human right. Athletes have it."

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