Actress, activist Mia Farrow slams Olympics sponsors


AFP

HONG KONG — U.S. actress and activist Mia Farrow Friday accused sponsors of the Beijing Olympics of bowing to “greed and fear” in failing to pressure China on its role in the conflict in Darfur.

Of 19 major corporate Games sponsors, only three had responded to her call to use their influence to persuade the Chinese government to help bring an end to violence and suffering in the Darfur region of Sudan.

The remaining 16 — who she said included Coca-Cola, Visa, General Electric, Volkswagen and Samsung — had “flunked” a report card issued by the pressure group she leads called Dream for Darfur.

“History will note their silence,” she said. “I’m disgusted.”

“It’s about fear and greed of the sponsors,” she said, adding only three companies came in for praise — McDonald’s, Adidas and Kodak — for writing to the U.N., urging it to enforce Resolution 1769 authorizing a 26,000 strong peacekeeping force for the region.

However, McDonald’s later denied it had contacted the U.N. on the subject. The resolution has yet to be implemented.

Farrow, star of Woody Allen’s “Hannah and her Sisters” and another 12 movies made with her former partner, was speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong as part of an international tour to highlight what she calls “genocide” in Darfur.

The U.N. estimates 300,000 people have died in five years of war, famine and disease.

Following the Hong Kong government’s decision to bar a number of people who had planned to use Friday’s Olympic torch rally through the city to call for Tibetan independence, she said she had wondered if she would be permitted to enter.

The visit, her first to any part of China, was the final leg of a “torch lighting” tour of regions whose people had suffered genocide, including Rwanda, Cambodia and Israel.