Mia Farrow To Air “Darfur Olympics”

Mia Farrow has spent much of the last several years raising awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and she has been an outspoken critic of China’s role in Sudan. As the Olympic games begin today in Beijin, Farrow has set up a week long protest webcast series “to keep the spotlight on the people of Darfur during the Beijing Games”. The series will be webcast from a refugee camp on the Sudan-Chad border, and Farrow has enlisted the talent of musicians such as R.E.M., Talib Kweli, and Taking Back Sunday to contribute videos to the series. Watch the ‘Alternative Opening Ceremony’ and other videos at www.darfurolympics.org

As the Summer Games open in Beijing, actress activist Mia Farrow is Web-casting her own “Darfur Olympics” from a refugee camp on the barren Sudan-Chad border, aiming to shame China into using its influence with Khartoum to end the Darfur conflict.

Human rights groups have been using the Beijing Olympics to highlight accusations that China’s close ties to the Khartoum government are helping fuel the bloodshed in Darfur, where up to 300,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million people driven from their homes since 2003.

China buys nearly two-thirds of Sudan’s oil and is believed to provide the country with most of its small arms, many of which human rights groups say end up being used in Sudan’s western region of Darfur. Beijing, which has veto power at the U.N., has resisted tough Security Council action against Sudan over the conflict.

At the same time as the opening ceremony in Beijing on Friday, Farrow will post footage on the Web from one of a dozen camps in eastern Chad where Darfurians fleeing the conflict have taken refuge. The Web-cast is to include refugee children playing sports and songs contributed by pop singers including REM, Bette Midler and Taleb Kweli.

Each day for the first week of the Beijing games, Farrow will post new Web-casts with “voices from the camps,” including interviews with women and children.

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