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Thousands join human art petition

A global day of action on Saturday 12 July used human aerial art to call on the Chinese authorities to ensure a positive human rights legacy for the Beijing Olympics. Thousands of Amnesty International supporters from around the world teamed up with Circle Up Now, to create large images on the ground which are only fully visible from above. From Delhi to Bamako and Asunción, thousands of people in over twenty locations joined together to form words such as "Freedom", "Dignity" and "Justice" representing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – which turns 60 on 10 December 2008. Created on the eve of the anniversary of Beijing being granted the 2008 Olympics, this powerful "visual petition" was an appeal to the Chinese authorities to honour the commitment they made in 2001 to improve human rights. "We are circling up in solidarity with human rights activists in China who have been silenced and cleared out of sight as the Games draw closer. We urge thousands of people to join together across the world to remind the Chinese authorities of their promises," said Circle Up Now. "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Olympic values aspire to a world where the dignity and fundamental rights of all individuals are respected without discrimination," said Amnesty International. "Seven years ago, the Chinese authorities promised the Olympics would bring improvement for people’s human rights but instead repression of activists and journalists has continued because of the Olympics."