China - 2008 Olympic Games - Exactly a year before start of games, Reporters Without Borders goes to Beijing to condemn glaring lack of free expression



    MONTREAL, Aug. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Four Reporters Without Borders
representatives held an unauthorised news conference today in Beijing outside
the building that houses the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic
Games (BOCOG). Wearing T-shirts showing the Olympic rings transformed into
handcuffs, they called on the Chinese authorities to free the approximately
100 journalists, cyber-dissidents and free speech activists currently
imprisoned in China.
    "You cannot hold such a big sports event as the Olympic Games in the
shadow of Chinese prisons," Reporters Without Borders secretary-general
Robert Ménard said. "The authorities have kidnapped these games. The official
slogan, 'One world, one dream,' sounds more and more hollow. This is not about
spoiling the party, quite the contrary. But Beijing has not kept its promises
to improve the human rights situation and yet continues cynically to refer to
the Olympic spirit."
    Fernando Castello, Reporters Without Borders' Spanish president, and
Rubina Mvhring, its Austrian vice-president, urged International Olympic
Committee president Jacques Rogge to take action. "The IOC's president now has
a year to obtain what he has not yet even requested - the release of the
imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents, an end to Internet censorship,
and the ability for foreign correspondents to move about China freely,"
Castello said.
    "The Chinese authorities have conned everyone, including us when we came
to China last January," Mvhring added. "They made us promises which they never
kept."
    Vincent Brossel, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia desk,
also took part in the news conference.
    At the end of the news conference, police stopped and questioned foreign
journalists, including TV reporters.
    For more information (in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese)
about the Reporters Without Borders "Beijing 2008" campaign, go to the
Reporters Without Borders website (www.rsf.org).

    Reporters Without Borders defends imprisoned journalists and press
freedom throughout the world. It has nine national sections (Austria, Belgium,
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland). It has
representatives in Bangkok, London, New York, Tokyo and Washington. And it has
more than 120 correspondents worldwide.




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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