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BEIJING GAMES All-out campaign launched with 100 days left to Olympic Games

April 30, 2008

Reporters Without Borders/Reporters sans frontières
Press release
28 April 2008

Reporters Without Borders gave a news conference today in Paris to
unveil a series of new campaign initiatives aimed at the public,
politicians, Olympic sponsors and journalists who are going to the
Olympic Games in Beijing.

"With just over 100 days to go to the games, a key moment for the
Olympic movement, we are campaigning to obtain the release of prisoners
of conscience and free access to Tibet for the press," Reporters Without
Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said.

"The announcement of a possible resumption of dialogue with the Dalai
Lama has raised hopes of a possible shift in the Chinese government's
position human rights, but we are not there yet," Ménard continued.
"Democratic heads of state, including President Nicolas Sarkozy, must
threaten to boycott the opening ceremony in order to maintain the pressure."

Reporter Florence Aubenas of the Paris-based Le Nouvel Observateur
weekly, a former hostage in Iraq, appealed to her colleagues:
"Journalists are not activists but they have a role to play before the
Olympic Games," she said. "We must be able to tell the Chinese
authorities that we want to go to Tibet or to interview dissidents. All
the press will want to talk about the sports events, but they will also
want to talk about the other issues. The press must defend this right by
taking a clearer stand."

Aubenas presented an appeal to this effect that has already been signed
by a dozen of leading European newspapers.

Filmmaker Jean-Jacques Beineix and Miss France 2007 runner-up Sophie
Vouzelaud, who was born deaf, unveiled videos that use sign language to
make the public and athletes more aware of human rights abuses in China.
"As the Chinese authorities are deaf to the appeals of international
public opinion and the International Olympic Committee prefers that
athletes say nothing, we are going to use the sign language gesture for
Freedom," Beineix explained.

He showed four video clips that will be offered to TV stations in which
Vouzelaud, writer Marek Alter and singer Nicolas Sirkis, the leader of
the French band Indochine, do the Freedom sign while a voice says: "The
Chinese leaders are deaf to our appeals, so this is how you say Freedom
in sign language."

Vouzelaud said she was deeply committed to free expression and
solidarity and supported the call for the release of prisoners of
conscience in China. Sirkis announced that he was bringing out a single
in support of the Reporters Without Borders campaign on China. "We are
going to do a video and launch this single in order to participate in
this campaign, which is entirely legitimate," he said.

Robert Poirier, who is a former coach of the French athletics team and
who participated as an athlete in the Tokyo and Mexico City games, said
athletes "are also citizens" and urged them not to neglect the human
rights situation in China and Tibet.

"The International Olympic Committee has been unable to create
conditions in Beijing that will allow athletes to take part in the games
in completely serenity," he said. "The athletes must express -
peacefully and respecting the Charter - their commitment to the values
of freedom. I am sure they will find the words and the moments to show
their commitment as citizens."

Ménard also reported the results of an opinion poll about the Olympic
sponsors. "A majority of French people agree that the sponsoring
companies must defend human rights in China. Most of the people polled
also said they were ready to boycott their products if nothing is done.
These results show that the sponsors cannot stay silent."
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