Statement from the Chairman of Olympic Watch on the United Nations International Day to Support Torture Victims

Jan Ruml is a Senator and Vice-Chairman of the Czech Senate, as well as being the Chairman of Olympic Watch. The following is a statement he wrote for a Falun Gong press conference held in Prage on the 26th of June 2004, the United Nations International Day to Support Torture Victims:

On the United Nations International Day to Support Torture Victims, June 26th, Olympic Watch calls on the government of the People’s Republic of China to stop the abhorrent practises of torture and ill-treatment throughout the PRC.

We commemorate the victims of torture by the communist authorities in China, be it Falun Gong practitioners, political prisoners, or other people. Torture can never be excused and the People’s Republic of China has pledged to eradicate it by its ratification of the Convention against torture.

Olympic Watch therefore condemns all the more strongly the recent decision by the Beijing government to prevent the long-awaited inspection by the UN special rapporteur on torture. We believe that the postponement was caused by the government’s fear of disclosure of its true current practises.

Olympic Watch calls on the government of the People’s Republic of China:

-to stop its terrible practises of torture and ill-treatment, and thus to respect the Convention against Torture and its other international legal commitments

-to allow full international oversight over the situation

-and generally to respect human rights of the people in China, including freedom of speech and freedom of religion, so that by the 2008 Olympic Games there is visible progress in human rights in China, which the Beijing government had promised, but which is still completely absent.

Prague, June 26th 2004

Jan Ruml
Chairman, Olympic Watch

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