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Press Release: Opening Ceremony of Global Human Rights Torch Relay on August 9

Posted by Author on August 9, 2007

Press Release,, 09-08-2007-


Olympics and Crimes Against Humanity Cannot Coexist In China

ATHENE, 2007/08/08 — Initialized by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG) and supported by many organizations and individuals, the Human Rights Torch Relay will officially have its opening ceremony to light the first flame on August 9, 2007 in Athens, Greece.

More than 100 cities from 30 countries will join the torch relay after the ceremony, calling on the international communities to focus on brutal violations of human rights and the Olympics spirit by the Chinese Communist regime, in order to stop such crimes and not let the 2008 Olympic Games become “Bloody Harvest Games”.

For years, the Chinese Communist regime has been persecuting people in China, such as Christians, Catholics, Tibetans, and Falun Gong practitioners. The crimes of torture and genocide they have committed against humanity have been condemned worldwide. The 2008 Olympics were offered to Beijing for the regime to improve its crude human rights record.

However, instead of stopping its persecution, the regime has made use of the Olympics to further repress people in China, damaging the Olympic spirit of peace and human dignity.

Moreover it also supports crimes outside China, particularly the genocide in Darfur, which has been well exposed by the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and actress Ms. Mia Farrow, who consequently dubbed the 2008 Olympics the “Genocide Olympics”.

Greece, as the origin of Olympics, will receive many politicians, human rights organizations and Olympians as well as representatives of Chinese human rights defenders to attend the press conference and/or the ceremony, including:

Mr. Martins Rubenis, Mrs. Jan Becker, Olympic medal winners;

Hon. David Kilgour, former Canadian Parliament member and one author of the investigation report, which verifies ongoing organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China;

Mr. Michael Ghiolman III, Ghiolman Yachts Travel Aviation, President of Environmental – Ecological – Cultural and Development Society, whose grandfather and grandfather’s brother helped to organize the first Olympic Games in 1896;

Mrs. Melanie Fleck, Austrian Singer;

Dr. George Karahalios, prominent Mass Media Communicator & Lobbyist;

A Traditional Greek Music Band

Press conference:
King George II, 3 Vas Georgiou A’ St 105 64, Athens
Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm, 9th August 2007

Opening Ceremony:
Syntagma Square, Athens
Time: 20:30 pm – 22:00pm 9th August 2007


The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG) is an international non-government organization established in 2006 when the brutal crime of organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China was exposed to the public. It consists of over 300 members from four continental delegations around the world, from politicians to doctors, from lawyers to religious groups.

The European delegation is chaired by Baroness Caroline Cox, member of the House of Lords (UK).

CIPFG since its set up has been requesting the Chinese regime to stop the persecution of Falun Gong, and allow the independent investigation by the international community inside China. However no response from the regime has been received.

On May 30, 2007, CIPFG announced in Canada the statement-Olympics and Crimes Against Humanity Cannot Coexist In China.

On June 8, CIPFG wrote to the Chinese leaders Mr. Hu Jintao and Mr. Wen Jiabao, to ask them to stop the persecution by August 8, 2007, otherwise CIPFG would call for a worldwide boycott of the Beijing Olympics.

The Human Rights Torch Relay, initialized by CIPFG, has been widely joined and supported, by for example Network for Human Rights in China (Denmark), International Society for Human Rights (Germany), Doctors Against Organ Harvesting (USA), Canadian Students for Darfur, and especially large numbers of people in China who recently sent out the message to ask for “No Human Rights, No Olympics”.

Contact Greece:
Fotini Bakatsia, Tel +30-6973 579932,
Kostas Tsolis, Tel +30-6947 421621

Contact Holland:
W. Stuifbergen, Tel 070-3456851 fax: 010-4613979
Dhr. M. `t Hoen, Tel 06-44173026 fax: 010-4613979


– Original report from : Global Human Rights Torch Relay

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