(AFP) – Sep 3, 2007
VENICE, Italy (AFP) — US movie star actor Richard Gere, an impassioned supporter of the Dalai Lama, called on China on Monday to "be open" about its human rights record in the run-up to the 2008 Olympic Games.
"I don't call for a boycott, but a declaration of the truth. If China wants to be a host of the Olympics they also have to be open about what's going on in the country," Gere said on the sidelines of the Venice film festival.
"The horrendous human rights situation has to be talked about," Gere said, citing "the destruction of the Tibetan culture, abuses of minorities (and) the Falun Gong (spiritual movement)."
Gere, here to show his latest film "The Hunting Party" about the search for Bosnian Serb war crimes fugitive Radovan Karadzic, said he opposed a boycott of the Olympic Games.
"I don't believe in isolating anyone, I think it's counterproductive," he said.
Gere is a frequent visitor to Dharamsala in India, home to thousands of Tibetan refugees who set up their government-in-exile there after fleeing Tibet in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
The actor, who has been denied a visa to visit China since 1993, starred as a victim of a grossly corrupt Chinese court system in one of his movies, Red Corner, in 1997, that was banned in China.
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