Darfur Yes, Cheek No

By Chris Chase-Photo via Getty ImagesThe 2008 Summer Olympics – also called the 2008 Genocide Games – will start on Friday August 8th, but they’ll start without Olympic gold medalist Joey Cheek. China has revoked the athlete’s visa.

Joey Cheek is co-founder of Team Darfur, a group of 70 athletes who are striving to raise global awareness of the human-rights violations taking part in the Darfur region of Sudan.

China’s military, economic and diplomatic ties to Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir’s regime have apparently made it undesirable – for the Evil Old Men in Beijing at least – for Cheek to enter China during the Games.

I am saddened not to be able to attend the Games. The Olympic Games represent something powerful: that people can come together from around the world and do things that no one thought were possible. However, the denial of my visa is a part of a systemic effort by the Chinese government to coerce and threaten athletes who are speaking out on behalf of the innocent people of Darfur.

– Joey Cheek

China has also revoked Cheek’s partner and Team Darfur’s co-founder, former UCLA water polo player Brad Greiner’s visa as well. Both activists were told that they had no recourse in the matter and that China did not owe them any explanation as to why they had been banned from the country.

This seems like another typically stupid and childish move by the Chinese. It’s not like any new damning evidence would be brought forth by Cheek or Greiner. The whole world is quite aware that China has consistently violated the 2005 UN Arms Embargo against Sudan by providing the weaponry that al-Bashir needs to complete his ethnic cleansing of Darfur. The whole world is also quite aware that Sudan pays for those arms with oil that China needs to fuel its growing industrial sector.

I guess the Chinese are just tired of hearing about about their collusion with other genocidal states and their utter inability to conduct themselves with anything remotely resembling human decency.

Related Reading:

Sudan (Bradt Travel Guide Sudan)
Sudan: Darfur and the Failure of an African State
Surviving the Mob: A Street Soldier's Life in the Gambino Crime Family
Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur (Random House Reader's Circle)
Human Rights and the Uses of History

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13 Responses to “Darfur Yes, Cheek No”

  1. Aafke Says:

    Nice to know China doesn’t mind showing it’s true colours on the eve of the opening.
    I’m still flabbergasted that they got to organise the Olympic games in the first place, but the the Olympic committee are a bunch of corrupt creeps themselves.

  2. jonolan Says:

    Yeah, China has always believed it could mandate people’s opinion of it – probably because they have a 200 year old history of doing that to their own people.

    They bought the Olympics just like Sidney did before.

  3. mikeb302000 Says:

    It’s sites like yours that make the internet so great. I’ve read nothing at all about this. I guess all the places I go for news and information don’t want to ruin my olympic experience.

  4. jonolan Says:

    Thanks, Mike – I try ;)

    I’m guessing that the places you go to for news are affiliated with the MSM who are heavily invested in both China and their advertisers – who are also heavily invested in China. You can’t expect them to report on much of anything that is not pro-China at this time.

  5. libhomo Says:

    This is yet another reason to boycott the Blood Olympics.

  6. in2thefray Says:

    Well the MSM tries to report some things in China. Like the ITN reporter that got arrested.

    I saw the vid it was wild. Story

  7. jonolan Says:

    I’m not completely sure that ITN qualifies as MSM News. They don’t have a track record of living down to that designation.

  8. Dr. Ethiopia Says:

    Kudos to Joey Cheek. What a profound impact he would leave on our rather hate driven planet.

  9. jonolan Says:

    Thanks, for stopping by, Dr. Ethiopia.

    I’m not sure how much impact Cheek will have since he doesn’t get much press coverage. It is good that someone is trying to do something though.

  10. Dr. Ethiopia Says:

    You’re most welcome Jonolan, glad that i have found your blog.

    You know it takes agraet deal of self-sacrifice and believe in one’s cause to be able to do what he is doing. In the end, this world has heroes that are unrecognized. It is a good thing they don’t do it for accolades.

    BTW, great debate we are having over at my house. I think you are utterly mis-informed in some aspects of the nature of this whole global war issue.

  11. jonolan Says:

    Yes it does, but while accolades are unnecessary, press coverage really isn’t and I never heard of Cheek, Greiner or Team Darfur before the incident I posted about. When I web searched for Cheek i originally got very few responses that even mentioned his work to end the Sudanese genocide.

  12. John Says:

    Brad Greiner is a do nothing member of the organization, really should not evene mention his mane

  13. jonolan Says:

    He was a co-founder of the organization, so I mentioned him. I have no idea of the scope of his further involvement save that Greiner was also denied entrance to China.

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