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Steven Spielberg and the Olympics of Doom

So the director of Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark (and my personal favourite) Duel, has made headlines by saying he would not take up his role as the Beijing Olympics artistic director.

Steven Spielbergs decision, backed by another Hollywood big-shot Mia Farrow, comes less then six months ahead of the Olympics. For Spielberg and Farrow, its not just about Chinas atrocious human rights record. Its about their involvement in human rights abuses in Sudan (especially Darfur), where China is a big player.

For my money, Spielbergs right to consider very carefully whether his involvement in the Olympics could make him complicit in human rights violations - in China or in Sudan.

It'll be interesting to see how his decision gets received - it's certainly been welcomed by one or two bloggers. At Amnesty were not calling for a boycott of the Beijing Games. But were certainly insisting that Olympic athletes, journalists, sponsors and everyone else concerned should certainly open their eyes to human rights issues concerning China.

As were constantly saying, China wouldnt win any medals for human rights. This is the not very pretty checklist: clear evidence that Chinas has supplied Sudan with equipment (planes, helicopters, ammo, parts) that has fuelled crimes against humanity in Darfur; it executes more people than all other countries put together (up to 10,000 a year); and imprisons journalists, lawyers, Internet users and anyone else deemed a problem for the Chinese authorities.

Support our campaign for a Beijing Olympics that will leave a positive human rights legacy here.

Meanwhile, Ill leave you with this question: Duel starred which popular 1970s television detective? A: Columbo? B: McCloud? C: Kojak?

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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