Thu 7 Aug 2008
Boycott of opening ceremony of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
We wish to associate ourselves with the Reporters Without Borders proposal to call on head of state and government and members of royal families to boycott the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games on 8 August, because of the increasing violation of human rights and clear lack of freedom in China.
China has not kept any of the promises it made in 2001 when it was chosen as the site of the next Olympic Games. It has also brutally repressed demonstrations in Tibet and imposed a total blackout on news there. The world’s political leaders must not remain silent and we call on them to voice their disapproval of China’s policy by announcing they will not attend the opening ceremony of the Games.
Calling for a total boycott of the Games is not the best way to act. The aim is not to deprive athletes of the chance to participate in the world’s biggest sporting event nor to deprive the public of a great occasion. But it would be disgraceful not to show firm disagreement with China’s policies and not to support the thousands of victims of its authoritarian regime.