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Human Rights protesters make song and dance of Beijing Olympics

PUBLISHED: 16:43 30 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:24 05 October 2010

Dancer Rahima Mahmut celebrating Uyghur dance culture

Dancer Rahima Mahmut celebrating Uyghur dance culture

CAMPAIGNERS for human rights held a Jump For Justice’ protest carnival against the Chinese authorities in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. Amnesty International’s Tower Hamlets Group on Saturday chose St John’s churchyard in Stratford, just half-a-mile from the 2012 London Games that follow. The event included traditional music of the Central Asian Uyghurs, aimed at drawing attention to declarations by China during the Olympic selection process assuring the world its human rights would improve in the run-up to the Games

Mike Brooke

CAMPAIGNERS for human rights held a Jump For Justice’ protest carnival against the Chinese authorities in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics opening in August.

Amnesty International’s Tower Hamlets Group on Saturday chose St John’s churchyard in Stratford Broadway, just half-a-mile from the 2012 London Games that follow.

The event included the London Uyghur Ensemble playing traditional music of the Central Asian Uyghurs, aimed at drawing attention to declarations by China during the Olympic selection process assuring the world its human rights would improve in the run-up to the Games.

Seven years on, China has failed to honour this commitment, say Amnesty campaigners, and remains a country that executes, tortures and silences its citizens.

“The Beijing Games should be China’s finest hour,” said Dan Jones of Amnesty’s Tower Hamlets group.

“It’s an opportunity to showcase its impressive development—yet sadly, China’s human rights abuses continue to overshadow its achievements.

“Our event embraced the Beijing Olympics while providing information on putting pressure on China to honour its commitments.”

Enver Bugda, an Uyghur from the Xinjiang province in north-west China who was at Saturday’s protest, says he was forced to flee his homeland in 1998.

“The world is watching to see if China takes this opportunity,” he said. “The authorities could create a positive legacy for the Beijing Games by addressing human rights issues.”

Enver is now a British resident living in East London, but continues campaigning for human rights on behalf of his Uyghur people in Xinjiang province.


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