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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Beijing Games 2008 -- European Union

June 26, 2008

Sarkozy urged to adopt boycott of opening ceremony at meeting with
heads of European Parliament groups
Call for opening ceremony boycott already signed by 53 MEPs
Reporters Without Borders
June 24, 2008

Reporters Without Borders calls on France and its European partners
to come out in favour of a boycott of the 8 August Olympic Games
opening ceremony in Beijing when French President Nicolas Sarkozy
meets tomorrow with European Parliament president Hans-Gert Pöttering
and the presidents of all the political groups in the parliament.

In a 10 April resolution, the European Parliament called on the
European Union presidency "to strive to find a common EU position
with regard to the attendance of the heads of government and of state
and the EU high representative at the Olympic Games opening ceremony,
with the option of non-attendance in the event that there is no
resumption of dialogue between the Chinese authorities and His
Holiness the Dalai Lama."

At the initiative of Reporters Without Borders, 53 Members of the
European Parliament have already given concrete expression to a
European commitment by signing an appeal for a boycott of the opening
ceremony by heads of state and government (see the list of initial
signatories below).

"President Sarkozy clearly stated that his attendance at the opening
ceremony was conditioned on a resumption of dialogue between the
Chinese government and the Dalai Lama's representatives," Reporters
Without Borders said. "But the process has gone nowhere and when the
United States and the EU recently issued a joint appeal for
'results-oriented' talks on Tibet, it was rejected by China as
meddling in its internal affairs. The Chinese authorities are also
barring foreign journalists from Tibet and Xinjiang while massive
roundups and reeducation campaigns are under way there."

Crackdowns on Chinese cyber-dissidents and journalists have been
stepped up in recent months. Hu Jia, a leading dissident who was
nominated for the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize in 2007, has
been sentenced to three and a half years in prison for inciting subversion.

Pöttering said in a 31 December statement : "I very much hope that
'the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 will be an opportunity
for China to demonstrate that a country hosting the world's most
important sports event is committed to internationally recognized
human rights standards including freedom of expression. The immediate
release of Hu Jia would be an important signal in this direction."

With less than two months to go to the start of the Olympics, around
100 journalists, cyber-dissidents, bloggers and Internet users are
still imprisoned in China. The government never kept the promises it
gave in 2001, when Beijing was awarded the 2008 Olympics, to improve
respect for human rights.

More information about the Reporters Without Borders Beijing 2008
campaign is available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese
at the organisation's website (

Members of the European Parliament who have signed the call for a
boycott of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Greens / European Free Alliance

FRASSONI, Monica, Co-President HARMS, Rebecca, Vice-President
(Germany) TURMES, Claude, Vice-President (France) FLAUTRE, Hélène,
Chair of the Human Rights Subcommitte (France) BEER, Angelika, Member
(Germany) BENNAHMIAS, Jean-Luc, Member (France) BREYER, Hiltrud,
Member (Germany) DE GROEN-KOUWENHOVEN, Elly, Member (Netherlands)
ISLER BÉGUIN, Marie Anne, Member (France) KALLENBACH, Gisela, Member
(Germany) KUSSTATSCHER, Sepp, Member (Italy) LUCAS, Caroline, Member
(UK) ÖZDEMIR, Cem, Member (Germany) ONESTA, Gérard, Member (France)
SCHLYTER, Carl, Member (Sweden) SCHMIDT, Frithjof, Member (Germany)
STAES, Bart, Member (Belgium) TRÜPEL, Helga, Member (Germany)

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe

WALLIS, Diana, Bureau Member (UK) MAATEN, Jules, Bureau Member
(Netherlands) ROGALSKI, Boguslaw, Member (Poland) RIES, Frédérique,
Bureau Member (Belgium) SZENT-IVÁNYI, István, Bureau Member (Hungary)
ATTWOOLL, Elspeth, Member (UK) BIRUTIS, Sarunas, Member (Lithuania)
WEBER, Renate, Member (Roumanie)

European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats

PINHEIRO, João de Deus, Vice-President (Portugal) SZÁJER, József,
Vice-President (Hungary) ZAHRADIL, Jan, Bureau Member (Czech Rep)
McMILLAN-SCOTT, Edward, Bureau Member (UK) MAURO, Mario, Bureau
Member (Italy) BAUER, Edit, Member (Slovakia) FOURÉ, Brigitte, Member
(France) MANN, Thomas, Member (Germany)

Socialist Group in the European Parliament

DÉSIR, Harlem, Vice-President (France) NAPOLETANO, Pasqualina,
Vice-President (Italy) CARLOTTI, Marie-Arlette, Member (France)
CASTEX, Françoise, Member (France) CORDA, Giovanna, Member (Belgium)
EVANS, Robert, Member (UK) GERINGER de OEDENBERG, Lidia Joanna,
Member (Poland) GRUBER, Lilli, Member (Italy) HAZAN, Adeline, Member
(France) LAIGNEL, André, Member (France) LIENEMANN, Marie-Noëlle,
Member (France) NAVARRO, Robert, Member (France) SAKALAS, Aloyzas,
Member (Lithuania) VAUGRENARD, Yannick, Member (France)

Union for Europe of the Nations

CZARNECKI, Ryszard, Treasurer (Poland) CZARNECKI, Marek Aleksander,
Member (Poland) FOLTYN-KUBICKA, Hanna, Member (Poland) KRISTOVSKIS,
Girts Valdis, Member (Latvia) LIBICKI, Marcin, Member (Poland)

Independence/Democracy Group

SINNOTT, Kathy, Bureau Member
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