The ceremony in Olympia today of the Olympic torch being lit was interrupted by human rights protesters. The event was being shown on live TV across the world – and was no doubt a top attraction in China – when the head of BOGOC, Liu Qi was interrupted by three uninvited guests.
via BBC: “The men were from the France-based media rights watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders, or RSF), which has called for a boycott of the opening ceremony of the games.”
The protester pictured is holding a banner depicting the Olympic rings and handcuffs, and in a statement the group said: “We cannot let the Chinese government seize the Olympic flame, a symbol of peace, without denouncing the dramatic situation of human rights in the country.” though it is not clear whether the group were particularly linked to the pro-Tibetan protests.
After the protests in China and around the world recently in the name of Tibetan independence security was extremely high for this occassion, and as yet there doesn’t seem to be much news about how the protesters managed to break in. The Greek authorities will be extremely embarrassed, and will not be thanked by their Chinese counterparts – though some journalists present have suggested that the local police took some of this frustration out on the invaders.
The small incursion has, interestingly, been missed out of Xinhua’s extensive coverage of the lighting of the torch, and the relay that followed between Chinese and Greek athletes, including Deng Yaping.