Tibetan activists stage peaceful protest outside IOC meeting

June 5th, 2008 - 9:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Athens, June 5 (DPA) Tibetan activists staged a peaceful protest outside the venue of an International Olympic Committe (IOC) conference in Athens Thursday, before being removed by police. A handful of activists from the Students For a Free Tibet blocked the entrance of the venue, shouting “shame on the IOC” and “Tibetans are dying”.

The activists were demanding the IOC cancel the Olympic torch relay in Tibet next week and put pressure on China to improve its record on human rights.

The international network Students for a Free Tibet, which has disrupted the torch relay along the route from ancient Olympia to the rest of Europe, said it would continue to hold mass demonstrations around the globe, and probably in Beijing, during the Aug 8-24 event.

The torch relay is scheduled to travel to Tibet June 19 and stay for three days but organisers said the Olympic flame would only end up spending one day in the capital, Lhasa.

The group said the IOC had not put any pressure on China or its Olympic organising committee BOCOG to improve the situation in Tibet, which it described as “critical”.

China says 22 people died in anti-government violence in Tibet’s capital of Lhasa in March, while Tibet supporters say many more were killed in freedom protests.

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