Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


An Open Letter To IOC Pres. Dr. Jacques Rogge

Dr. Jacques Rogge
President of the IOC
International Olympic Committee
Château de Vidy
CH-1007 Lausanne
Tel: +41-21-621 61 11
Fax: +41-21-621 62 16

Romanshorn, August 21, 2006

Dear Dr. Rogge,

After having closely followed recent human rights abuses in China, including the arrest of China's most famous human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng last week, I have taken up the courage to write this letter to you.

The 2008 Olympic Games will take place in Beijing. In the meantime, however, serious incidents of further human rights deterioration in China have been reported, such as the escalation in Shanwei, Guangdong province, on December 6, 2005, marking the first reported shootings of demonstrators – in this case peasants – by official security forces since the Tiananmen massacre in 1989. Another shocking revelation is the large-scale organ harvesting of living Falun Gong practitioners taking place in facilities across China for profit, confirmed in an investigative report by international human rights lawyer David Matas and David Kilgour, former Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) for Canada, released on July 6, 2006 (please see

On August 15, 2006, Mr. Gao Zhisheng, China's most renowned human rights lawyer, was arrested by plainclothes police in Dongying city, Shandong province. He has been detained incommunicado up until today. Communication has also been cut off to Mr. Gao's wife, 12-year old daughter, and two-year old son. Lawyer Gao is referred to as the conscience of China as he has continuously taken on sensitive cases involving activists, dissidents, and religious practitioners, openly critiquing the Chinese authorities for their human rights abuses. Mr. Gao's law firm was closed down by the Chinese authorities in November 2005 shortly after he had sent an open letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, urging them to respect religious freedom and to end the barbaric persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. Since then, Mr. Gao and his family have been harassed and monitored 24 hours a day by plain clothed police. Even after an attempt on his life in January 2006, Mr. Gao continued to protest human rights abuses by the Chinese Communist regime.

Given Mr. Gao's commitment to human dignity and civil liberty in China and his remarkable courage to speak up against atrocities while living in Beijing, where he is vulnerable to retribution, his arrest undoubtedly marks a new, severe downfall in the human rights situation in China, and his safety is now determined largely by the reactions and actions of people inside and outside China.

In this urgent situation, as a Swiss citizen, I feel compelled to stand up for humanity, continuing Henry Dunant's plight of protecting the lives and dignity of victims, and I turn to you for help. As the promoter of the Olympic Spirit, you have the legitimate power, right, and duty to remind China of the mission of the Olympic movement, and to demand that they resolve the incident in a manner worthy of a future host of the Olympic Games.

History remembers that between 1964 and 1992 South Africa was barred from participating in the Olympics due to its Apartheid policy. This incident proves very well how much the International Olympic Committee cares about contributing to building a peaceful and better world – both Pierre de Coubertin's mission and the goal of the Olympic movement.

In the case of Gao Zhisheng, who is a symbol of human rights and freedom in China, I am thus calling for your prompt action. Your voice will give hope to supporters of human rights in China that standing up for human dignity will never be in vain and that people in China will one day be granted the rights of life and liberty. Since freedom is indivisible and no one is really free when one man is enslaved, your contribution to the advancement of freedom in China will be deeply appreciated by all of mankind. Thank you for your time and effort in making mankind's dream come true.

In spite of the difficulties and frustrations during the time in which he lived, Martin Luther King still had a dream. So do people in China today: that one day China, a desert sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice; that their children will one day live in a nation where they will not be condemned for their openness and honesty and will be cherished for the content of their character. They have this dream today and now is the time for us to make real the promises of humanity.

In order to not only reach out for assistance but also become active myself, I have made a personal decision and have taken the initiate to start hunger striking on Sunday, August 20, 2006, and I will continue to go without food up until Lawyer Gao's arrest has been properly addressed and Gao is a free man again.

To raise public awareness of the severity of Lawyer Gao's illegal arrest and to call upon the duty of mankind to uphold egalitarian justice, I have allowed myself to send a copy of this letter to the most renowned media outlets in Switzerland and abroad. A list of the recipients is provided below.

Lastly, I would again like to express my gratitude in advance for your effort in rescuing Mr. Gao Zhisheng.

For a better world
For a brighter future
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring.

Sincerely yours,

Chin-Yunn Yang

CC to


Basler Zeitung
Bote der Urschweiz
Der Bund
La Liberté
Le Courrier
Le Journal du Jura
Le Matin
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
St. Galler Tagblatt
Tagblatt Zürich
Thurgauer Zeitung
Tribune de Genève
Schweizer Fernsehen
Télévision Suisse-Romande
Radio DRS


Berliner Morgenpost
Der Tagesspiegel
Deutsche Welle
Die Tageszeitung
Die Welt
Die Zeit
Financial Times Deutschland
Frankfurter Allgemeine
Freie Presse
Süddeutsche Zeitung
Westdeutsche Zeitung
Pro Sieben


Der Standard

Die Presse
Kleine Zeitung
Niederösterreichische Nachrichten
Oberösterreichische Nachrichten
Salzburger Nachrichten
Tiroler Tageszeitung
Wiener Zeitung
Wirtschafts Blatt
Kurier AT


Courrier International
Dernieres Nouvelles d'Alsace
French News
La Tribune
La Croix
Le Figaro
Le Journal du Dimanche
Le Monde
Le Nouvel Observateur
Le Parisien
Les Echos
Midi Libre
Neues Alsace Lothringen
Radio France International


De Morgen
De Standaard
De Tijd
Gazet van Antwerpen
Het Belang van Limburg
Het Laatste Nieuws
Het Nieuwsblad
Het Volk
La Dernière Heure
La Libre Belgique
Le Soir


Daily Express
Daily Mail
Financial Times
International Herald Tribune
The Observer
The Sun
BBC World


Guardian Unlimited: Northern Ireland
Irish Examiner
The Belfast Telegraph
The Irish Times
The Irish World
The Sunday Business Post


Algemeen Dagblad
De Telegraaf
Het Parool
NIS News Bulletin
NRC Handelsblad
Nederlands Dagblad
de Volkskrant


Houston Chronicle
Los Angeles Times
New York Daily News
San Francisco Chronicle
The New York Times
The Washington Times
The Washington Post
USA Today
US News & World Report
Radio Free Asia
Voice of America


Calgary Herald
Globe and Mail
Le Devoir
Montreal Gazette
National Post
The Calgary Sun
The Chronicle Herald
Toronto Star
Toronto Sun
Windsor Star
Radio Canada International


Financial Review
Herald Sun
The Advertiser
The Age
The Australian
The Daily Telegraph
The Sydney Morning Herald
The West Australian
WA Business New

New Zealand:

Otago Daily Times
Taranaki Daily News
The Dominion Post
The National Business Review
The News Zealand Herald
The Press
The Southland Times
The Timaru Herald
Waikato Times

News Agencies:

Australian Associated Press (AAP)
Associated Press (AP)
Agence France-Press (AFP)
Canadian Press (CP)
Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA)
Press Association Group

International Human Rights Organisations:

Human Rights Watch
Amnesty International
ISHR (International Society for Human Rights)
GfbV ( Society for Threatened Peoples)
UN's Human Rigths Commission


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


27-29 Sept: Social Enterprise World Forum Live Blog

1600+ delegates from more than 45 countries have came together to share wisdom, build networks and discuss how to create a more sustainable future using social enterprise as a vehicle. Attending the Forum were social enterprise practitioners, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, community leaders, investors, activists, academics and more from across the globe... More>>

HiveMind Report: A Universal Basic Income For Aotearoa NZ

Results from this HiveMind suggests that an overwhelming majority of Kiwis believe that due to changing circumstances and inefficiencies in the current system, we need a better system to take care of welfare of struggling members in our society. More>>


Scoop Hivemind: Medical Cannabis - Co-Creating A Policy For Aotearoa

Welcome to the fourth and final HiveMind for Scoop’s Opening the Election campaign for 2017. This HiveMind explores the question: what would a fair, humane and safe Medical Cannabis policy look like for Aotearoa, NZ in 2018? More>>


Lyndon Hood: Notes On National’s Election Campaign, In Poem Form

Nationyl’s bitumen-ing / As they du du / Seed groweth / River floweth / Then ‘dozer drives thru / Highway ensu. More>>