Group: China will keep out 'antagonistic elements' during Olys-By ASSOCIATED PRESS

China Aid Association

(BEIJING – Nov 10, 2007) The Chinese government has secretly issued an order banning people it considers a threat from next year’s Olympics, with terrorists, activists and some media workers on the list, an overseas rights group said Friday.
China’s leaders view the Beijing Olympics as a way to project a positive image of the country, but the Games also offer a rare opportunity for protesters to air their grievances against China’s communist government.
The order from the Ministry of Public Security bans those who fall into broad categories such as “antagonistic elements,” “members of illegal organizations,” and “nongovernment organizations engaging in activities that can pose a real threat to the Olympic Games,” according to the China Aid Association, based in Midland, Texas.
Others who are banned included alleged terrorists, criminals under surveillance and followers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement that China considers a cult, the group said.
Other banned groups include religious extremists, “media employees who can harm the Olympic Games” and “dangerous elements … and other people who have serious grievances against the Party,” said the group, which advocates for religious freedom in China.
The group said the ban was a nationwide order that covered both locals and foreigners.
It was not clear whether the order reportedly issued in April applied to visitors or participants, although the China Aid Association said the security ministry called for strict examinations of athletes, Olympic Committee members, media and sponsors.
The group cited government sources as the basis of its report. The group’s founder, Bob Fu, did not immediately respond to an e-mail from The Associated Press asking to see the original government document.
A press official at the Ministry of Public Security said the report was “not very accurate” and that it was international practice to examine visitors during Olympic Games. The man, who refused to give his name, asked the AP to fax an interview request for further comment, to which he did not immediately respond.
Li Zhanjun, director of the Beijing Olympics media centre, said he was “unclear” about the issue and needed to look into the claims.
Preparations for the Beijing Olympics such as venue construction have progressed at a record pace, but the high-profile event has opened China to accusations of human rights violations. It’s also been accused of not doing enough to fight pollution and ignoring Sudan’s backing for militias accused of genocide in return for oil and gas.
Critics have asserted that Beijing is so eager to host a flawless event that it will go to great lengths to keep out potential “troublemakers” during the Games, which begin Aug. 8.
Listed under “antagonistic elements” in the government order, for example, were anti-China forces inside and outside the country, and family members of people injured or killed in riots, the report said. The category also includes drivers who have been issued numerous traffic violations for running red lights and jaywalking.
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2007/11/09/4643097-cp.html


China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected] 
Website: www.chinaaid.org

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