Beijing Olympics

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Oded Balilty/AP
Evacuated people gather after their homes in Beijing were demolished.

In Beijing, Forced Evictions Make Room for Olympics

July 16, 2008 02:38 PM
by Sarah Amandolare
As the Beijing Olympics draw near, China is raising eyebrows for forcibly evicting thousands of citizens to make way for venues and beautification.

30-Second Summary

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According to Reuters, as construction for Olympic venues proceeds and Beijing is beautified for the big event, thousands of residents are been forcibly evicted from their homes, typically without notice or compensation.

Chinese officials deny any wrongdoing, claiming that evictions give Beijing residents more living space, and that the reported number of forced evictions is inaccurately high.

In defiance of the Chinese government, Human Rights Watch published a report on the forcible eviction problem, detailing what residents must face after losing their homes.

Newly homeless Chinese say their rights have been violated, and they’ve been injured by government-hired thugs sent to remove them from their homes should they protest.

Some residents have even been arrested for speaking out against evictions. In December 2004, Ye Guozhu was sentenced to four years in prison for organizing a peaceful protest against forced evictions. Guozhu has said he was brutalized by police, and has been held in shackles in his prison cell.

China’s recent earthquake
left millions homeless, but the government has been praised for its speedy response to that crisis. Meanwhile, forcibly evicted residents without homes or redress for their loss may be watching the Olympic Games from the streets, while their leaders label them liars.

Headline Link: 'Forced Evictions Sour Olympic Dream for Some'

Background: Disputes turn violent

Related Topics: Ye Guozhu; China’s earthquake

Reference: Incidents related to forced evictions

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