Liberty Director carries the Olympic Flag in opening ceremony of London 2012

27 July 2012

Tonight Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, participated in the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games. The head of the campaign group joined human rights activists and athletes from across the globe in carrying the traditional Olympic flag into the stadium.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, said:

"There are always dangers of abuse of power with an event of global proportions and Liberty is ever-vigilant in defence of peoples' rights and freedoms. But internationalism is not just for big business and governments - our Olympics are about more than commercial branding.

"The signal sent by including human rights campaigners in tonight's opening ceremony should give us all hope. The organisers have set a challenge and made a statement for the Games, our country and the world.”

In the run-up to the ceremony there have been concerns about how organisers and authorities have prepared for the Games – and how they will manage them once begun. There have been worries about impediments to peaceful protest, mass surveillance, some corporate sponsors and the privatisation of security. Liberty has warned of the impact on civil liberties and urged a common-sense and light touch approach to policing and the enforcement of Olympic regulations.

Contact: Liberty Press Office on 020 7378 3656 or 07973 831128

1. Read Shami Chakrabarti’s blog about participating in the opening ceremony;

2. Find out more about Liberty’s campaign ‘Freedom Games

3. The other flag-bearers were:

- Muhammad Ali (at the summit)
- Ban Ki-Moon
- Daniel Barenboim
- Sally Becker
- Leymah Gbowee
- Haile Gebrselassie
- Doreen Lawrence
- Marina Silva