Taipei [Taiwan], January 27 (ANI): Activists and lawmakers in Taiwan are asking their government to do more in boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Unsatisfied activists gathered outside Parliament on Wednesday chanting for more to be done and holding up signs demanding independence from China, reported Taipei Times.
They demanded that the Chinese Taipei Olympics Committee (CTOC) should ensure that the freedom of speech of Taiwanese athletes is protected when they compete at the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing this year.
Four Taiwanese athletes are to compete in the Winter Olympics: Huang Yu-ting in the 500m, 1,000m and 1,500m speed skating; Lin Sin-rong in the luge women's single; and Ho Ping-jui in the men's and Lee Wen-yi in the women's slalom.
At the end of last month, Amnesty International launched a global initiative to support six people -- Taiwanese campaigner Lee Ming-Che and five Chinese dissidents -- who have been imprisoned, detained or gone missing for exercising their freedom of speech in China, reported Taipei Times.
Although the Chinese government had promised to improve its human rights record when it held the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics, conditions in the country are worse than in 2008, said Amnesty International.
"China uses the Olympic Games to improve its image and whitewash its terrible human rights record," Amnesty International Taiwan director Chiu E-ling said.
Members of Amnesty Taiwan also submitted a written petition, which CTOC deputy secretary-general Wu Kuo-yu accepted on behalf of the committee, reported Taipei Times.
In the petition, the group urged the CTOC to protect the freedom of speech of Taiwanese athletes while competing at the Games.
Athletes must also be informed about China's human rights record, it said.
All athletes in the Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games should be protected by the International Bill of Human Rights and Olympic Charter, it added.
The Winter Olympics are to take place from Friday next week to February 20, while the Winter Paralympic Games are to be held from March 4 to 13.
Meanwhile, Taiwan said that while it will not send its officials to the games, its athletes will be attending.
Taiwan has also called on China to not use politics to interfere with the event or belittle the island.
The final round of protests that been going on since December 10. As was conveyed, the protest was to Gherao parliament demanding the boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. A number of MPs extended support, including from the ruling DPP.
Separately, 31 civic groups and 15 politicians urged the government to organize a diplomatic boycott of the Winter and Paralympic Games in Beijing because of its human rights violations.
NGOs including Amnesty, Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan; Taiwan Association for Human Rights and Hong Kong Outlanders in Taiwan also joined the demonstration.
Some Taiwanese lawmakers have also spoken up saying "Chinese Communist Party violates the Olympics spirits of promoting peace and protecting human rights".
The speakers for the press conference included; Lawmakers - Fan Yun, Freddy Lim and Chiu Hsien-Chih; Taipei City Councillors - Miao Poya and CHIU Wei-chieh.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Fan Yun told a news conference outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei that Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai was silenced and her movements restricted after telling the public that she was sexually assaulted by a high-ranking Chinese official, reported Taipei Times.
"The purpose of the Olympic Games is to maintain peace and uphold human dignity, and a regime that has been violating human rights is not qualified to host the Olympics," she said.
Taiwan has no reason to endorse the Winter Olympics, as Beijing has been persecuting activists in China and last year sent more than 900 military jets to encroach on Taiwan's airspace, New Power Party Legislator Chiu Hsien-chih said. (ANI)