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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Protesters tell tales of Beijing detention

August 27, 2008

Interrogation tactics were common during NYers' six days in jail
Patrick Arden
Metro New York
August 26, 2008

Jeff Goldin was glad to be home yesterday, having been released from
a Chinese prison late Sunday after participating in peaceful protests
for human rights during the Beijing Olympics.

He was one of eight activists who gathered on the steps of City Hall
to tell stories of their six days behind bars, which involved
repeated interrogations, sleep deprivation and threats of lengthy
jail sentences.

Goldin, a landscaper who lives on the Upper East Side, always knew
jail was a possibility. But he saw the Beijing Games as a historic moment.

"What would have happened if the world had stood up to Hitler at the
1936 Olympics?" he asked. "China is committing genocide in Tibet."

Members of the group Students for a Free Tibet, the eight had
traveled separately to Beijing. They contacted each other by text
message and met at Starbucks. After 13 days — and two protests
involving the unfurling of a Tibetan flag and the placing of a banner
outside the headquarters of state-run television — police stormed
Goldin's hotel room.

"Two video cameras came in with the undercover police," he recalled.
"They didn't say I was under arrest. They just were screaming: 'Pack

Goldin's interrogators didn't believe his story.

"They actually thought we were terrorists," he said.

His 12 cellmates slept shoulder to shoulder. They were all there for
petty offenses, like selling books to tourists.

"For three weeks, China turned Beijing into Disney World," Goldin
said. "But everybody knows that's not how it works."

Behind bars

Separated in overcrowded cells under constant fluorescent light, the
activists had to sit upright for hours.

They left their cells only to face more questions or to watch the
Olympics, though they were shown just Chinese gold medal athletes and
U.S. failures.
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