Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Should Olympic Athletes Be Gagged? Of Course Not. Sign the Petition

Article 19 and Reporters without Borders have started a petition to the IOC to make sure Olympic athletes will not be kept from speaking their minds during the Beijing Games.

The initiative does acknowledge that the International Olympic Charter's Article 51(3) forbids all Olympians from staging any political demonstrations or expressing any "political, religious or racial propaganda" during the Games.

But the sponsors also urge the IOC to "respect and protect the athletes' right to freedom of expression by issuing a clear statement to all Olympic athletes explaining that statements regarding human rights fall outside the scope of Article 51(3) of the Olympic Charter."

A number of initiatives have been thrown into the mix for athletes to express their support for human rights in China during the opening ceremonies, something the IOC has rejected outright.

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