Pro-Tibet demonstrators detained in Beijing

August 20th, 2008 - 11:17 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 20 (DPA) Chinese security personnel detained five American pro-Tibet activists after they unfurled a banner in Beijing’s Olympic Park.The banner, which said “Free Tibet” in English and Chinese, was displayed for about 20 seconds late Tuesday before being taken down by officials.

The five demonstrators belong to Students for a Free Tibet, and the organization’s deputy director, Tenzin Dorjee, accused the Chinese government of trying to turn the world’s attention away from its abuses in Tibet as the Olympics take place.

“However, the creativity and determination of Tibetans and their supporters has once again ensured that Tibetan voices are heard and seen in Beijing despite the massive security clampdown,” he said.

“The Chinese leadership must realize that the only way it can make the issue of Tibet disappear is to acknowledge the demands of the Tibetan people and work with them to bring an end to China’s occupation of Tibet.”

The organization has staged seven peaceful protests in Beijing over the past two weeks to try to place the issue of Tibet onto the Olympic agenda.

The protests have included a banner being hung near the Bird’s Nest Stadium, a display of Tibetan flags near the Bird’s Nest just before the opening ceremony and a symbolic die-in at Tiananmen Square.

The group has also organized a protest by a Tibetan woman with flags outside Tiananmen Square, a blockade of the Chinese Ethnic Culture Park and a “Free Tibet” banner hung outside the headquarters of China Central Television.

More than 40 members and supporters had been detained and deported before Tuesday’s detentions.

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