China - Beijing 2008 - Launch of a new campaign about Beijing Olympics and letter to IOC President Jacques Rogge on eve of IOC meeting



    MONTREAL, June 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders is launching a
new international campaign, "Beijing 2008," to draw attention to the cynicism
of the Chinese government's refusal to allow greater freedom of expression and
release the approximately 100 journalists and cyber-dissidents it is holding.
With just 13 months to go to the start of the Beijing Summer Olympics, the
authorities still have not kept the promises to improve the human rights
situation that they gave when they were awarded the games in 2001.
    On the eve of the International Olympic Committee session that it is due
to take place in Guatemala City from 4 to 7 July, the press freedom
organisation has written to IOC president Jacques Rogge.
    The letter says: "Throughout the world, concern is growing about the
holding of these Olympics, which have been taken hostage by a government that
balks at taking action to guarantee freedom of expression and respect for the
Olympic Charter's humanistic values (...)
    "You know better than anyone that the Chinese government and Communist
Party attach the utmost importance to the success of the Olympic Games for
their own sakes, but without keeping any of the promises they have made.
Mr. President, it is not too late to get the Chinese organisers, who are for
the most part also senior political officials, to release prisoners of
conscience, reform repressive laws and end censorship.
    "We expect firm action from you. It is time to say clearly to the Chinese
authorities that the contempt with which they treat the international
community is unacceptable. With the entire Olympic community gathered in
Guatemala City, it is no longer time for timid, whispered comments. The hour
has come for the IOC, through you, to speak clearly about the problems. Your
demands will be heard and the Olympic movement will emerge strengthened from
it."
    The letter concludes: "Mr. President, we do not doubt your commitment to
freedom of expression. We believe that your convictions and those of the
entire Olympic movement will enable you to quickly do what everyone is
expecting of you - to take action on behalf of freedoms in China before the
start of the 2008 Olympic Games."
    Reporters Without Borders is relaunching its "Beijing 2008" campaign with
a graphic of the Olympic rings replaced by handcuffs. Using its sections and
networks, the organisation will distribute this campaign ad all over the world
for one year, without any let-up.
    The graphic is available in a high-definition version (EPS, 300 DPI,
CMJN) and in six languages from the Media Downloads section of the Reporters
Without Borders website (www.rsf.org). Web banners are also available in
French, English and Spanish in the following formats: 728 x 90, 468 x 60,
120 x 600, 250 x 250.




For further information:

For further information: Emily Jacquard, Directrice générale, Reporters
Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514) 521-7771,
rsfcanada@rsf.org

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