As Chinese security forces continued Friday to obstruct the freedom of movement and expression of nearly 20,000 women gathered here from around the world, a senior Western official warned that protests over how China is serving as host to the Fourth World Conference on Women threaten to overshadow the event itself, seriously tarnishing the images of both China and the United Nations.
“It is just out of control and we have protested very strongly,” said the senior official, who is among the leaders who have traveled here as official delegates to the women’s conference.
“The United Nations has got to move on this,” he said, noting that the world body has a responsibility as guarantor of the conference.
China’s restrictive actions here will damage its prospects for being selected as host for major international events in the future, including Olympic events, the Western official said.
A senior Western official said Friday night that Chinese security agents violated an agreement with the United Nations by seeking to control access to the conference site in Beijing. Several Chinese plain-clothes police officers entered the U.N. hall and pursued and ejected an accredited journalist, the official said.
“They were not supposed to be in there at all,” the official said. “It is just out of control and we have protested very strongly.”
In another instance Friday, the proceedings of a “global tribunal” on human rights for women was interrupted when Chinese interpreters ceased translation for a packed auditorium just as the secretary general of Amnesty International, Pierre Sane, began to speak.