Monday, July 14, 2008 | Categories: Episodes
Today's guest host was Jim Brown.
It's Monday, July 14th.
With less than a month to go until the opening of the Beijing Summer Olympics, critics say China is ignoring its promise to improve human rights and is still cracking down on pro-democracy activists in Beijing.
Currently, Chinese officials say that's impossible. They have it on very good authority that there are no more activists in Beijing.
This is The Current.
Press Freedom at Beijing Olympics
Human Rights Watch
When China was lobbying to host the 2008 Summer Olympics, it promised, as part of its pitch, to improve its human rights record and loosen up restrictions on the media. For the International Olympic Committee, those promises helped seal the deal -- and Beijing was awarded the 2008 Summer Games over Toronto's bid.
But now, seven years later and with less than a month to go before the games begin, many activists say China is once again cracking down on journalistic freedoms during the run-up to the Olympics. Last week, Human Rights Watch released a highly critical report called China's Forbidden Zones: Shutting the Media out of Tibet and Other 'Sensitive' Stories. We were joined from New York City by Phelim Kine, a researcher with Human Rights Watch.
Canadian Olympic Committee
Given the pretty dismal assessments of China's progress on human rights and press freedom, some people say the Olympic movement got taken in by Beijing's promises -- and that the Chinese Government got the games without having to make any substantial changes to how it runs the country. For his thoughts on the issue, we were joined in Toronto by Chris Rudge, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee.
Listen to Part One:
Death of a Spirit Child (Documentary)
The poverty and desperation in many parts of Africa is difficult for most of us to imagine. Families often struggle on small plots of land, growing what they can when the weather allows. In good times, they will grow enough to survive. But not always. In such an unforgiving environment, the life of a baby or a child is sometimes seen as a threat to the survival of a family or even a whole community -- a situation that can and does lead to the practice of infanticide.
Some communities have developed a system of beliefs and practices about infanticide. Vancouver journalist Mark Schneider traveled to one of them in Ghana where he met a journalist named Joseph Niabeery and heard a song about the death of a young boy named Adongo, a boy from the same village as Joseph. Mark Schneider traveled with Joseph back to that village and prepared this documentary. It's called "Death of A Spirit Child" and it first aired on The Current in October 2007.
Listen to Part Two: