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.

Chinas 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.

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G?ngx? F?ci

Such a Merry Christmas from China. Well, actually shngdn kuil x?nnin kuil is Merry Christmas in Mandarin (G?ngx? F?ci is a Chinese New Years greeting), but it wouldn’t fit in the post’s headline.

It seems the Evil Old Men in Beijing, knowing the importance of the Christmas holidays among the oppressed Christian minority in China, have perverted the holiday for their own vile purposes. They have showed great – if low born – cunning in realizing that the “illegal” congregations in China would be gathering at this time.

270 House Church Pastors Detained for Alleged Illegal Religious Gathering

SHANDONG PROVINCE, Dec. 10 — China Aid Association has learned that 270 House Church Pastors have been detained for what Chinese officials are calling an “illegal religious gathering.”

On December 7 at 1:30pm, House Church pastors in Hedeng District, Linyi City, were gathered for a Bible Study when their meeting was disrupted by police officials.According to Pastor Li, an eyewitness, 40-50 policemen from 12 different towns were involved in the massive detention. The pastors were then handcuffed two-by-two and taken to the local police station for questioning. As of this morning 150 pastors remain in custody. The others have been released on a Y300 ($40) interrogation fee.

The humiliation these pastors received by being led away in handcuffs as common criminals, for attending a Bible study is an unjustifiable act of religious persecution. In addition, the large scale and high profile of the detentions shows the apathy of Chinese officials in moving towards a policy for toleration of religious freedom. Behavior unbecoming of the World’s host for the Olympic games in 2008.

China Aid will continue to monitor the situation.

For those concerned, contact:

Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador: Mr. Zhou Wenzhong
Address: 2300 Connecticut Avenue, N. W., Washington D.C. 20008, U.S.A.
Tel: +001-202-328-2500, 328-2501, 328-2502
Fax: +001-202-3282582
Email: chinaembassy_us@fmprc.gov.cn

— Issued by China Aid Association
December 10, 2007

I know the civilized world can’t honestly expect any better behavior from PRC tyrants in Beijing, but it’s still somehow shocking how far they will go to oppress any group who doesn’t spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week kowtowing to atheism and slaving in a sweatshop somewhere.

We really shouldn’t even be shocked by the “interrogation fee”; after all once they execute these pastors, the PRC will bill their families for the cost of the bullet.

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