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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?"

Hundred meet in support of Tibet, Czech Greens hoist flag

March 12, 2008

Czech Happenings, Czech Republic

Prague, March 10 - About a hundred people met outside the Chinese
embassy in Prague this afternoon, carrying banners and Tibetan flags,
and lighting candles in commemoration of the 49th anniversary of the
Tibetan uprising against Chinese oppression.

The demonstration, part of the Day of Tibet, was organised by the
Amnesty International.

In a separate action in protest against the situation in Tibet, the
Czech Greens, a junior ruling party, put out the Tibetan flag in the
window of their room in the lower house.

Addressing the rally in front of the embassy, the organisers recalled
that in 2001, when China was chosen as the 2008 Olympics venue, it
pledged to improve the situation in the human rights area.

This has not happened, however, AI members said.

Many demonstrators signed an open letter to the Chinese ambassador in
Prague expressing concern at the violation of the rights and freedoms
of people in China, mainly in Tibet.

Katerina Jacques, chairwoman of the Greens deputies' group, told CTK
that Petr Kynstetr, head of the Lower House Office, had not approved
the Greens' decision to hoist the Tibetan flag.

In spite of this, the Greens put the flag out. It has not been hoisted
on the Lower House's main pole but in the window of the Greens' room,
complemented with the party logo so that it is clear that it reflects
the position of the Greens, not the whole lower house.

Jacques said the lower house will vote on a a draft resolution in
support of Tibet at its forthcoming session.

The draft has been prepared by friends of Tibet among the deputies. "I
believe we will gain a sufficient number of votes," Jacques said.

According to the Lungta association, a total of 348 town halls across
the Czech Republic hoisted Tibetan flags today.
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