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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Human Rights Torch Relay - UK

Press release, CIPFG-HRTR

This global event covers some 100 cities in 25 countries on 5 continents. It started on 9 August 2007 at Syntagma Square in Athens. After running through Berlin, Munich, Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Timisoara, Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Geneva, Lausanne, Paris, Vilnius, Riga, Brussels, Antwerp, Den Haag, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Dublin in 17 countries its last European stop will be London before it continues to Australia, South and North America ending in Asia in August 2008.

“The Olympics and crimes against humanity cannot co-exist in China!”

UK part of Global Human Rights Torch Relay is supported by:

Chris Hamilton, 100 metre sprinter, Ghefari Dulapandan olympic swimmer
Xu Jian, Human Rights lawyer in China
Ma Jian famous Chinese writer
Roger Helmer, MEP
John Bowis MEP for London
Liz Lynne MEP
and others.

UK NGOs:

All-China Alliance for Protecting Human Right Opposing Violence
Burmese Muslim Association
Federation for A Democratic China UK
Federation of Saying Good-bye to CCP (UK)
London Law School
The Burma Campaign UK
Tibet vigil

European NGOs:
International Society for Human Rights
Human Rights Without Frontiers
Society For Threatened Peoples
Federation For Democratic China
German Association for Culture and Human Rights
German Association for Art and Human Rights
Amnesty Dublin Central Group
Interfaith International
Human Rights Commission in Geneva
Federation for Democratic China
Support for Human Rights (Sweden)
Doctors Against Organ Harvesting
…… and others

Press Conference: 3 pm Thursday 25 October 2007
At: Music Room, Foreign Press Association, 11 Carlton House Terrace
Chair: Lord Avebury All Parliamentary Human Rights Committee
Speakers: Edward McMillan-Scott, MEP Vice president of European Parliament; Brian Colman, Chairman of GLA; Baroness Caroline Cox, Chair of European CIPFG; Lord Hylton; Dr Xu Yi, UCL; Tinch Minter, playwright; Lucy Jin, Federation for a Democratic China UK; Ghefari Dulapandan, olympic swimmer; Chris Hamilton, 100 metre sprinter,MyoThein,BurmaCampaignUK;KyawZwa, Burmese Muslim Association;Robert Evans,MEP;Annie Yang,torture victim.

Press Conference will be followed by a torch lighting ceremony at Trafalgar Square North Terrace at about 4pm where a programme of music and talk will be running from 3pm. Then the torch will run via Regent Street and Oxford Circle to Chinese Embassy in Portland Place by about 6pm. Runners will include MPs, MEPs, Olympic medallists, VIPs and Human Rights activists. There will be more speakers, a candle light vigil till 9pm at the Embassy and then the torch will depart for Australia.

Media contact: Zek Halu tel 020 8699 2066 mobile 07910 785 079 zekhalu@talktalk.net
On behalf of organizers of Human Rights Torch Relay in London

The International Olympic Committee awarded Beijing the 2008 Olympic Games in 2001 expecting the Chinese Communist regime to address its appalling human rights record. Instead the situation grows worse daily and Chinese government uses the Olympic Games to further arrest and persecute Christians, human rights activists such as Gao Zhisheng and Falun Gong practitioners, supports killing of monks and other peaceful Burmese, oppresses Tibetan people and sabotages efforts to stop the genocide in Darfur.

Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights Watch websites reveal a litany of human rights violations; with further restrictions on both foreign and domestic press, in spite of recent Chinese regime’s statements that state the media control has been lifted. China is expected to abide by human rights principles; yet it has shown no indication that it is willing to do so. Olympics in Beijing cannot go ahead while these atrocities are taking place. It would be a mockery of the Olympic spirit and of the Olympic Charter, which encourages, “the establishment of a peaceful society concerned with preservation of human dignity”.

For more information about the Relay: www.humanrightstorch.org & www.cipfg.org

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