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13feb2010RAs Vancouver prepares to inaugurate the 2010 Winter Olympics tomorrow, China continues to detain human rights activists, journalists and bloggers who were arrested for speaking out before, during and after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"Dozens of Chinese families continue to suffer the awful effects of the last Olympics because a loved-one is still in jail for using the fundamental right to free expression," Reporters Without Borders said. "Unfortunately, the International Olympic Committee and its president, Jacques Rogge, are doing nothing to obtain the release of these innocent people, whose ordeal is a stain on the Olympics' reputation."

Reporters Without Borders has sent a petition to Rogge asking him to intercede with the Chinese authorities and seek the release of the "Olympic prisoners" during the Vancouver Games. Signed by more than 1,600 Internet users, the petition urges Rogge "to speak up and to act in defence of free expression."

Reporters Without Borders will give copies of the petition to Chinese embassies in Paris and Berlin tomorrow. The petition also urges Chinese President Hu Jintao to ask the competent authorities in China to release the "Olympic prisoners."

More information about the "Olympic prisoners": http://www.rsf.org/en-petition34043-Olympic_prisoners.html

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