Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Britain gags on human rights

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In January I wrote critically of England’s intention to ban the Zimbabwe cricket team from touring that country in 2008. I’m again completely astounded at the hypocrisy of the British government when it comes to sport and politics. Get your head around this – Britain wants to bar the Zimbabwean cricket team in an effort to send a strong message of rejection and criticism to Mugabe’s totalitarian regime. On the other hand the British Olympic Committee will insist that British athletes sign a gagging order prohibiting them on speaking out on political issues whilst participating in the Olympic Games so that they don’t offend the Chinese government’s sensibilities. Globally there is widespread condemnation of China’s poor human rights record. Olympic Watch cites several key areas of concern including freedom of speech, democratic opposition and torture/death penalty. Both the Zimbabwean and the Chinese regime are subject to strong criticism in these areas. Again, spot the difference. The British government stands accused of out and out hypocrisy and should be held accountable for their fair weather concern for justice. Clearly its a case of trade before fair play when it comes to the Olympic Games in China. Makes you wonder – if Zimbabwe was a strong trading partner of Britain whether Flash Gordon would be kissing Bob’s bum?

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