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Beijing Olympics 25 March 2008

Reporters Without Borders representatives arrested in Greece, then freed on bail pending trial for “insult”

Three Reporters Without Borders representatives, arrested yesterday for unfurling a banner showing the Olympic rings transformed into handcuffs at the official Olympic torch-lighting ceremony in Olympia, Greece, have been freed on bail pending trial on 29 May in Pyrgos (80 km from Olympia).

They are charged with “insulting national symbols” under article 361 of the Greek criminal code, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison or a fine.

“This is an absurd and senseless charge,” Reporters Without Borders said. “By making this gesture, we were in no way attacking the Olympic spirit or Greece. We were simply protesting against the policy being carried out in China during this period of heightened repression. We also wanted to brandish the threat of a boycott of the Olympic Games opening ceremony, an initiative we support, and to encourage the International Olympic Committee to urge the Chinese government to respect human rights as called for under the Olympic Charter.”

The three Reporters Without Borders three representatives will hold a news conference today at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on their arrival on Olympic Airlines flight OA201 from Athens, which is scheduled to land at 12:05 pm.




In this country
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
All references to Tiananmen Square massacre closely censored for 20 years
12 May - China
Foreign reporters prevented from working in Sichuan a year after earthquake
24 April - China
Concern that detained Tibetan magazine editor is being tortured
25 March - China
Government blocks access to YouTube

in the annual report
China - Annual report 2008
China - Annual report 2007
China - Annual report 2006

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
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Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised
29 May - Sri Lanka
Journalists trying to cover fate of Tamils are threatened, obstructed