The Olympics and Property Rights Violations in China:

The Boston Globe reports that as many as 1.25 million people have been evicted from their homes in Beijing by the Chinese government, so that the property they live on can be used to "beautify" the city in preparation for the 2008 Olympics [HT: Yefim Somin]. Numerous small businesses have also been forcibly displaced.

Although today's Chinese government shows greater respect for property rights than it did in the days of Mao Zedong, there is still a long way to go. As I noted in this 2007 post, some 40 million Chinese have been forcibly displaced by government-sponsored development projects in recent years.

Perhaps this human rights issue should be added to the list of those the athletes might want to protest while in Beijing. Unlike the better-known Tibet and Darfur issues, these violations are directly connected to the Olympics, because many of the Beijing expulsions were part of the government's strategy for preparing for the games.