Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Free Speech the Loser at 2008 Beijing Olympics

Free Speech the Loser at 2008 Beijing Olympics

Friday 15 February 2008
Press Release: from Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (New Zealand) (CIPFG-NZ)

CIPFG-NZ calls for the New Zealand Olympic Committee to remove the clause from its contract with New Zealand Olympic team members that requires athletes to “not make statements or demonstrations (whether verbally in writing or by any act or omission) regarding political, religious or racial matters”.

In its current form, the contract forbids New Zealand athletes from making any political comment while in Beijing and denies them a fundamental human right guaranteed to them under our New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Freedom of speech should never be sacrificed in order to appease the Chinese Communist Party, a regime with an appalling human rights record. The Chinese Communist Party stated in 2001 that by being awarded the right to host the 2008 Olympics, it would help it improve its human rights record. To sacrifice a fundamental freedom is not the way to encourage the Chinese Communist Party to improve its human rights record, it merely emboldens them to continue with violating the human rights of their own citizens and the rights of others.

CIPFG NZ does not consider that this contractual clause is realistic or can be justified by appealing to the potentially adverse consequences of a New Zealand athlete exercising freedom of speech in Beijing. If a New Zealand athlete cannot exercise freedom of speech in Beijing then we should not be going there. It is not freedom of speech that should sacrifice itself to a communist regime. If the Chinese Communist Party wants to be part of the international community then it needs to accommodate itself to international human rights instruments. If it is unwilling to do that then the argument for a boycott is unassailable.

This country sent at least two generations overseas to fight in world wars to defend the right to freedom of speech and other rights and freedoms threatened by totalitarian regimes. We should not now be deprived of something that we were once prepared to die for.

Carole Curtis (Barrister and Solicitor)
Spokesperson for CIPFG-NZ

--

Other CIPFG members in New Zealand

Dr Cathy Casey (Auckland City Councillor)
Mr Barry Wilson (Barrister and Solicitor) President of Auckland Council for Civil Liberties
Mr Richard McLeod (Barrister and Solicitor)
Mr Heval Hylan (Barrister and Solicitor)
Mr Naing Ko Ko (Burmese Pro-democracy advocate)

Background of CIPFG

The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) was formed in April 2006 and consists of over 350 individuals and organizations from the international community; including government officials, lawyers, doctors, clergymen, and human rights defenders. CIPFG purpose is to investigate both the persecution of Falun Gong and allegations of the harvesting of organs from live Falun Gong practitioners in China. It is calling for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong; practitioners and their supporters in China, and also calling for an independent third party investigation into allegations of organ harvesting in China.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

 

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>

ALSO:

Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>

ALSO:

Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog