With less than two weeks to go to the start of the Beijing Olympic Games, a large flag showing the Olympic rings as handcuffs was unfurled today by members of Reporters Without Borders in the Tuileries Garden in Paris as the Tour de France cyclists went by on the last leg of the annual bicycle race.
“The support shown by the Parisian spectators for our protest is evidence of the exasperation that sports lovers feel about the human rights situation in China and Tibet,” Reporters Without Borders said. “With just 12 days to go to the 8 August opening ceremony in Beijing, we appeal to sports fans to protest against the crackdown on free speech activists in China.”
The Olympic rings turned into handcuffs are the symbol of the Reporters Without Borders Beijing 2008 campaign. Around 100 journalists, cyber-dissidents, bloggers and netizens are still imprisoned in China. The Chinese government has not kept the promises to improve respect for human rights that it made in 2001, when Beijing was chosen to host the 2008 Olympics.