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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?"

Six foreigners given 10 days' detention: Beijing police

August 24, 2008

AFP
August 21, 2008

BEIJING -- Beijing police said Thursday it had handed out 10-day
detention terms to six foreigners believed by an overseas activist
group to be pro-Tibet campaigners involved in Olympic protests this week.

In a brief faxed statement, the city police information department
said "Thomas" and five other foreigners had been apprehended on
Tuesday for "upsetting public order", without identifying the six
people any further.

"Beijing police decided to give the six 10 days of administrative
detention," the faxed statement said.

Administrative detention is a punishment that can be meted out by
Chinese police without having to go through the courts.

Students For a Free Tibet said it assumed the six were American
pro-Tibet activists who police detained in Beijing on Tuesday.

"These young men were in Beijing to amplify Tibetan voices calling
for freedom and human rights and the right of all people to freedom
of expression," Students For a Free Tibet executive director Lhadon
Tethong said.

"They are no more guilty of a crime than Tibetans or Chinese who
speak out for justice.

"For the Chinese authorities to sentence them at all shows the
government's paranoia and intolerance of even the most peaceful
challenges to its control."

Students For a Free Tibet has orchestrated a series of protests in
Beijing to coincide with the Olympics in an effort to highlight what
it says is China's repressive 57-year rule of Tibet.

The group previously identified one of the six detained as Tom Grant,
and described him as an activist in Beijing to support and promote
human rights, freedom of expression, and freedom for the Tibetan
people at the Olympics.

Another of those detained on Tuesday was James Powderly, an American
artist who planned to project a giant laser beam onto a Beijing
building with a message in support of a free Tibet.

Beijing police declined to comment when asked to elaborate on its statement.
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