MONTREAL, Aug. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders staged events
around the world to denounce the appalling human rights situation in China as
the organisers of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the International Olympic
Committee today gathered in Tiananmen Square in a ceremony exactly one year
ahead of the opening of the games.
In Paris, a 100-square-metre flag showing the Olympic rings transformed
into handcuffs was unfurled today by Reporters Without Borders activists along
one of the bridges over the Seine. This graphic, together with the words
"Beijing 2008," was also displayed on an advertising truck and bicycles(*) that
circulated the city all day. And the organisation's activists distributed
thousands of postcards with the graphic to Parisians and tourists attending
the "Paris Beach" events along the Seine.
At the same time, a total of 30,000 posters (60 cm x 80 cm) with the same
handcuffs image have been put up all over France.
In New York, bicycles displaying the "Beijing 2008" handcuffs graphic
rode through the streets of Manhattan, and leaflets about the human rights
situation in China were distributed to passers-by.
In Beijing, on 6 August, four Reporters Without Borders representatives
including its president, Fernando Castello, its vice-president, Rubina
Mvhring, and its secretary-general, Robert Ménard, gave a news conference
yesterday outside the building that houses the Beijing Organising Committee
for the Olympic Games (BOCOG).
In Montreal, Reporters Without Borders took part with Amnesty
International in a news conference yesterday at the Olympic stadium that
hosted the 1976 games.
The press freedom organisation also offered leading daily newspapers an
op-ed piece on the poor situation of press freedom in China. It is being
published by newspapers in Austria (Der Standard), Belgium (Le Soir), Brazil
(O Globo), Canada (National post, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun), France
(Libération), Great Britain (The Independent) and Spain (El Mundo).
T-shirts with the "Beijing 2008" handcuffs image can be bought on the
Internet at the Fruit of the Boom website (www.fruitoftheboom.com).
Reporters Without Borders is calling for the release of the approximately
100 journalists, cyber-dissidents and free speech activists currently held in
China, and an end to censorship of the news media and Internet. At least
12 websites were closed or blocked in July alone.
The graphic is available in a high-definition version (EPS, 300 DPI,
CMJN) in six languages from the Media Downloads section of the Reporters
Without Borders website (www.rsf.org). Web banners are also available in
various formats in French, English and Spanish.
(*) Thanks to the help of Chac'n Chak, a company that was our partner in
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,