Reporters Without Borders calls for Olympics ceremony boycott

March 19th, 2008 - 12:21 am ICT by admin  

Paris, March 18 (DPA) The press freedom group Reporters Without Borders Tuesday called on heads of state and government to boycott the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing because of what it called “the Chinese government’s mounting human rights violations and the glaring lack of freedom in China”. “China has not kept any of the promises it made in 2001 when it was chosen to host these Olympics,” the Paris-based organisation said in a press statement.

“Instead, the government is crushing the Tibetan protests and is imposing a news blackout, while Hu Jia, a tireless human rights campaigner, is facing a possible five-year prison sentence at the end of a summary and unfair trial,” the group said.

The statement went on to say that to boycott the Games themselves was “not a good solution” because it would deprive athletes and the public of “the world’s biggest sports event.”

“But it would be outrageous not to firmly demonstrate one’s disagreement with the Chinese government’s policies and not to show solidarity with the thousands of victims of this authoritarian regime,” the group said.

Reporters Without Borders pointed at the example of Britain’s Prince Charles, who said he would not be in Beijing for the Aug 8 ceremony. “Others should follow suit,” the group said.

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