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HRIC Open Letter to Relativity Media

October 31, 2011

As a Chinese human rights organization, we are deeply concerned to read about the apparent failure of your companies to do due diligence before selecting Linyi City as a filming location for 21 and Over, a co-production of Relativity Media, SAIF Partners, and IDG China Media. This failure is now exposing your backers and the project to not only the negative human rights publicity you are already receiving but also to the risks of adverse financial and reputational consequences.


Ryan Kavanaugh, Chief Executive Officer, Relativity Media

Andy Yan, Managing Partner, SAIF Partners

Patrick J. McGovern, Founder and Chairman, IDG

Dear Mr. Kavanaugh, Mr. Yan, Mr. McGovern:

As a Chinese human rights organization, we are deeply concerned to read about the apparent failure of your companies to do due diligence before selecting Linyi City as a filming location for 21 and Over, a co-production of Relativity Media, SAIF Partners, and IDG China Media. This failure is now exposing your backers and the project to not only the negative human rights publicity you are already receiving but also to the risks of adverse financial and reputational consequences.

Linyi City is indeed a “historic” city, as proclaimed by Zhang Shaojun, Linyi’s Party secretary. But Linyi City has entered into the annals of history for something inglorious: it is a place where the local authorities are responsible for the egregious, ongoing, and widely reported human rights violations against one of the most prominent human rights advocates in China—the blind, self-trained legal advocate Chen Guangcheng, who worked tirelessly to advance the rights of the disabled and who exposed and challenged land corruption and coercive population control practices in Linyi City. Obviously Linyi City is not an appropriate location now for the filming of a comedy.

In response to criticism emerging, Relativity Media’s recent public statement that it is committed to supporting human rights is not enough. We at Human Rights in China (HRIC) urge you to demonstrate this commitment by concrete action, including terminating the filming of a comedy in a city of human rights shame. We also urge you to raise with the Linyi Party secretary your human rights concerns about the ongoing persecution of Chen Guangcheng and his family as well as the violence and intimidation perpetrated against Chen’s supporters. In addition to the full background on Chen Guangcheng’s case (available on our website at: http://www.ir2008.org/02/about.php), we are available to provide any additional information you may need.

Sincerely,

Sharon Hom

Executive Director

Human Rights in China

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