Tunne Kelam: China must respect human rights
Archived Articles 04 Jan 2008 Adu RaudkiviEWR
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Tunne Kelam, Estonian Member of the European Parliament, said in Strasbourg on December 12, 2007: "The Beijing Olympic Games would be a splendid opportunity to put more pressure on that country's (China) authorities to ensure the basic human dignity of the residents of China."

Kelam was a political dissident during the Soviet occupation of Estonia and was incarcerated for his opposition to the red regime.

"The European Parliament must draw the conclusion that the rate of political persecution in China has recently increased, not declined, and is directly connected with preparations to the Beijing Olympic Games," said Kelam.

The persecution of Christians that don't fall in line with the government sanctioned sects is not very pleasant. Holy Bibles have not been allowed in the (Beijing) Olympic village.

China has been accused of the harvesting of human body parts from peaceful Falun Gong members and selling them for profit, as well as imprisoning as many as a hundred thousand of them for no more than their beliefs.

"The only way of making the Chinese authorities respect the rights of its citizens more is to send them a signal that the European Union is taking its own basic values - solidarity and human dignity - with sufficient seriousness," said Kelam.

"We understand that applying for the status of organizer of the Olympic Games, China assumed the obligation of clear and unconditional respect for the ideal of human dignity and ensure internationally recognized human rights," added Kelam.

Factions of the European Parliament have drawn up a draft resolution on the situation of human rights and democracy in China before the Beijing Olympic Games.

Another Estonian member of the European Parliament, member of the (Estonian) Reform Party, Toomas Savi said, "Although the European Union must not be afraid to be critical of China, an aggressive pressure policy at this given moment, when China is making enormous efforts to build up its infrastructure, would not be the best thing to do."

One wonders, what does infrastructure have to do with human rights?
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