Reporters Without Borders demonstrates in Olympia at start of Olympic torch relay to Beijing
China - Olympic Games
24 March 2008
"Reporters Without Borders demonstrates in Olympia at start of Olympic torch relay to Beijing
Three Reporters Without Borders representatives, including secretary-general Robert Ménard, today unfurled a banner showing the Olympic rings transformed into handcuffs at the official Olympic torch-lighting ceremony in Olympia, in Greece. Security forces arrested the three human rights activists, who are now being held at a police station in Pyrgos, around 80 kilometres from Olympia.
“The Olympic flame may be sacred but human rights are even more so,” the press freedom organisation said. “We could not let the Chinese government take the Olympic flame, a symbol of peace, without denouncing the dramatic human rights situation in China with less than five months to go to the start of the Olympic Games.”
More information about the Reporters Without Borders international campaign on the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games is available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese at the Reporters Without Borders website (www.rsf)
see the images"
The Greek state run media has done its best to play down the events at the ceremony and at first did not show the incident . Only after the story ran on the CNN and other international outlets was it aired on the state run channnels.
Skai channel showed footage of a Tibetian protester being violently detained by security personnel. The fact that the Greek authorities had deployed nearly 1000 police officers seems to have proved ineffective in preventing the protest by the three French journalists from Reporters Without Borders who were arrested immediately afterwards.
All three are due to appear in court towards the end of May according to the Skai channel.