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Czechs protest against violence in Tibet outside Chinese Embassy

March 17, 2008

Czech News
March 16, 2008

Prague- Several tens of people met outside the Chinese Embassy in Prague
today to protest against the violent suppression of the uprising in
Lhasa, Tibet, by the Chinese police and military forces.

The demonstration, organised by the junior ruling Green Party (SZ) along
with several human rights associations, was attended by Greens chairman
and deputy PM Martin Bursik and Greens deputies' head Katerina Jacques,
as well as former interior minister Jan Ruml.

Participants carried Tibetan flags and banners with the slogans "Stop
Violence in Tibet" and "Don't Make Tibet Red."

The spokesman for the Tibetan exile government announced today that
about 80 people died in Friday's unrest in Lhasa and another 72 people
were allegedly injured. The official Chinese sources speak about 10 victims.

The situation in Tibet has calmed down during the weekend, but less
intense protests continue in other Chinese provinces and they allegedly
also claimed lives.

The Czech Foreign Ministry has officially condemned the violence in Tibet.

"We condemn the violence committed on peaceful and unarmed demonstrators
who only want to express their opinion freely," the ministry says on its
website.

Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has also demanded that information
on the events in Tibet be freely released and representatives of
independent media be allowed to enter the area.

The Greens today wrote in a letter sent to the Chinese ambassador to
Prague that "the Tibetans' protests express their natural will to freedom."

A concert in support of Tibet, in which Czech bands and a Tibetan
musician perform, takes place in a rock club in Prague centre tonight,
within the March Festival for Tibet 2008, organised in Prague and in
other Czech towns by civic associations.

China occupied Tibet in 1951. Some 80,000 Tibetens died during the
uprising in Lhasa in 1959. Tibetan activists accuse Beijing of
suppressing their traditional culture and they strive for Tibet's
independence or at least a strong autonomy within China.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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