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Dissidents suffer as Beijing Olympics dazzle

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Image from NASA’s website.

And now we interrupt the Beijing Olympics with this important public service human rights message:

Life is not all fun and games for Chinese dissidents during the Olympics. For instance, within the last few days, blogger Zhou “Zola” Shuguang has been placed under town arrest.

As Reporters Without Borders reported on August 15, 2008: “Zola alerted his contacts via the microblogging service Twitter: ’16:02 (Beijing time): They have forced me to get into their car. I want my family to be able to confirm what has happened today (…) I am all right, I am in their car and I have the impression that I am being kidnapped.’ ’17:31 (Beijing time): They have asked me to stay in Meitanba. If I go to Beijing, they will come and get me.’ Aged 27, Zola keeps a blog in which he often writes about matters that have been hushed up by the authorities.” More on this story also is at the Committee to Protect Bloggers’ site.

Zhou Shuguang is having a cakewalk with the Chinese authorities, when compared to Beijing human rights activist and blogger Zeng Jinyan and her baby daughter, who, according to ABC online “have been missing since August 7th. Zeng has been under house arrest for months.” More on this story is at the Committee to Protect Bloggers’ site and in the Associated Press online.

That concludes this public service message. Will you now return to the Olympics as if all in China were the Disneyland that the Chinese government so desperately wishes to portray? Jon Katz