China, Tibet and the Olympics: Campaigners lobbying to keep spotlight on Tibet

Free Tibet UK has spoken of its plans to capitalise on the current media focus on the occupied country.

Holmes: relying on exiled Tibetans
Holmes: relying on exiled Tibetans

The campaign group is 'fiercely lobbying' governments, international Olympics committees and sponsors in attempt to disrupt the Olympic torch relay, director Anne Holmes told PRWeek.

She has also been relying on a network of exiled Tibetans in Asia to secure exclusive coverage in newspapers that otherwise might not be interested in their plight.

'The media is all over this story since the Chinese government kicked the press out,' said Holmes. 'We have exiled Tibetans working for us in India, getting information out that journalists cannot access, such as exclusive information from family members and images from mobile phones. We used some of this personal testimony for a two-page spread in the Sunday Express.'

As well as targeting government officials, the group is focusing its attention on sponsors of the torch relay, including Coca-Cola, Samsung and Chinese computer group Lenovo. 'We're not expecting a positive response from them,' said Holmes.

She added that the current Free Tibet UK comms team consisted of herself and one other full-time staffer, dealing with media requests from as far afield as Australia and Canada. 'We're desperately looking for volunteer press officers to go through the papers and keep up with what columnists are saying, and to help out on the phones,' she said. Potential volunteers should contact Janet Fereday on janet@freetibet.org.

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