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As part of its "Beijing 2008" campaign, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) is calling on media and Internet communities everywhere to print ads or post website banners of the Olympic rings made up of handcuffs - to draw attention to China's lax attitude to human rights in the face of hosting the 2008 Olympics.

Human Rights Watch is also spearheading a similar campaign calling for users to "Light a Torch for Human Rights in China" by posting a banner with said phrase on their websites.

With just over a year to go before the start of the Beijing Summer Olympics, the Chinese authorities have not kept their promises to improve the human rights situation, which they made in 2001 when awarded the Games, says RSF.

Both campaigns demand that the Chinese government release the 100 journalists and cyber-dissidents currently in jail, including Shi Tao, who is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence after sending an email about Chinese media restrictions on the Tiananmen Square massacre. They also urge Beijing and the International Olympics Committee to allow international human rights groups into China to monitor conditions during the Games.

In a letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the eve of one of its meetings, RSF says, "It is not too late to get the Chinese organisers, who are for the most part also senior political officials, to release prisoners of conscience, reform repressive laws and end censorship... We expect firm action from you."

The RSF banner graphic is available in different languages, sizes and definitions here:

Access the Human Rights Watch banner here:

(3 July 2007)

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