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China 1 – Doc Dave’s Blog

CHINA’S HUMAN RIGHTS – AND WRONGS

21-03-2008

You won’t catch Stirrer blogger Dr David Nicholl at this year’s Beijing Olympics.  He’s been boycotting China for years after meeting victims of the repression in Tibet.

Twenty years ago I had the trip of a lifetime as a medical student - I spent 2 months in Nepal. During my time, I saw the most extreme poverty in some of the hospitals there, and I also had the opportunity to trek around Annapurna.

I didn’t let the lack of oxygen get to my brain however, as I was struck by the peaceful optimism of the Tibetan refugees who had left their homeland to get away from Chinese oppression. Ever since then, I have promised myself I will never go to China until there is a proper democracy and Tibet has got the right to manage its own affairs free of Chinese influence.

I personally feel that the fact that Beijing has got the Olympics is an affront to the Olympic movement. China executes more people than anywhere else in the world, even for offences such as tax evasion, and has been known to use organs from the deceased as part of the organ transplant trade.

China oppresses any form of religious expression from Christians, Muslims to Buddhists. China supplies arms to Darfur and has taken no significant action over the abuses in Burma. The list of abuses go on and on.

Prince Charles and Steven Spielberg have called it right by refusing to go to the Games. Some years ago, I along with 50 other clinicians boycotted a medical conference in China for similar reasons.

I stand in admiration of the Dalai Lama and his dignified action over the ongoing abuses by the Chinese in Tibet.

Tin-Tin may have (fictionally) gone to Tibet, but you won’t catch me going to there - or Beijing - until China starts to understand what human rights mean.

Doubtless there will be those who will say boycotts are a waste of time, but you would no more get me in Beijing in 2008 than you would have caught me in Berlin in 1936…if I’d been alive then.

Should Britain boycott the Beijing Olympics?  Or China in general?  Leave a comment on the Message Board.

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