Add Africans and Mongolians to the groups Beijing’s Olympic organizers want to push out of the capital before the games begin.
Chinese police officials have been forcing some bar owners in Beijing to sign secret pledges to ban blacks and Mongolians from entering their premises during the Olympic games next month, according to the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper.
While police denied any such activity, and most bars denied knowing about the prohibition, African residents in the city say that harassment by the authorities and discrimination at the bars has increased.
The Post quoted a co-owner of a bar who said his business had been visited by police with an order “not to serve black people or Mongolians.” In the Sanlitun bar district, some owners were forced to sign pledges to prohibit dancing and serving black customers.
WND has reported on a “blacklist” of people and groups of people China has been targeting specifically because of the coming publicity that will accompany the Olympic Games in August. Those targeted include religious leaders.
WND has also reported on China’s apparent crackdown on Christians and Christianity in advance of the 2008 Games, including the expulsion of more than 100 foreign Christians in China in just a 90-day period, the biggest assault on the presence of Christianity in China since 1954.
Last September, police detained dozens of blacks in the Sanlitun bar district and, according to witnesses, beat some with rubber truncheons. The son of Grenada’s ambassador to China reportedly suffered a concussion from being clubbed on the head by police.
Police with dogs raided an African-owned bar this week and required blacks to provide urine samples to test for illegal drugs.
“When the police come, you have to run,” a woman from Liberia said. “I’ve lived in Holland and the United States and it was never like this. There’s no human rights here. It’s racist and it makes me feel very bad.”
Africans and Mongolians are perceived as criminals by Beijing authorities and have been included with other ethnic groups, political activists, outspoken entertainers and Christians as potential sources of trouble during the games.
Evidence of the secret pledges may be seen in the practice of some bar owners who have recently begun charging black patrons twice the entry fee charged other customers.
Two Nigerian businessmen complained to the Post they were required to produce their passports before entering a Beijing nightclub while other foreigners were not.
“This had never happened before to me,” one said. “I was very angry. This is racism.”