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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

China deports Tibet activists for hanging sign in Beijing

August 18, 2008

Tanya Talaga, Social Justice Reporter
The Toronto Star (Canada)
August 16, 2008

A Canadian-Australian activist from Vancouver was deported from
Beijing after being detained by police for unfurling a giant "Free
Tibet" banner in front of China Central Television's Beijing
headquarters, with four other foreign protestors.

Environmentalist Nicole Rycroft, executive director of Canada's
Markets Initiative, a group dedicated to preserving ancient forests,
was arrested yesterday and held along with three Americans and a
Briton for their protest before all were put on a plane and deported.

Rycroft arrived at Vancouver International Airport last night.

Rycroft, 41, and Britain's Phil Kirk, 24, rappelled down the Beijing
building to unfurl the protest banner. Also deported for the protest
are Americans Kelly Osborne, 39, Bianca Bockman, 27, and Sam Maron,
22. All are with Students for a Free Tibet.

This is the sixth protest the student group has completed in Beijing
this summer, according to Mel Raoul, a Toronto member of Students for
a Free Tibet.

She said about 31 people from the group have been detained and
deported for their recent protests in China. "Everybody who is
engaged in these protests knows the risks," she said.

"Tibetans are living in a state of fear and intimidation," said
Raoul, who took part in a protest at the Great Wall in China a year
ago on behalf of Tibet and was also arrested before being deported to
Hong Kong.

The five deported yesterday apparently were treated with respect
while they were detained, said Bruce Walsh, a long-time friend of Rycroft.

Rycroft is a former rower who aspired to compete in the Olympics but
a back injury ended that dream, Walsh said.

When that happened, she put her athletic energy into human rights and
environmental issues.
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