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Canadians detained in China now leaving country, reports say
10. Canadians detained in China now leaving country, reports say
Meagan Fitzpatrick, CanWest News Service
Published: Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Three Canadians detained by authorities in China after staging a "Free
Tibet" protest along the Great Wall are now being allowed to leave the
country, CTV is reporting.
According to the report, Lhadon Tethong, Sam Price and Melanie Raoul are
now headed for a flight to Hong Kong.
The trio of activists belongs to a group called Students for a Free
Tibet. Tethong, the group's executive director, was detained by Chinese
police early Wednesday, according to the organization. She was picked up
by authorities for questioning in Beijing while the other two Canadians
were reportedly detained after rappelling down a section of the Great
Wall and unfurling a huge banner on Tuesday. They had not been heard
from since and their whereabouts were unknown.
Ms. Tethong is a Tibetan-Canadian who grew up in Victoria and attended
university at Dalhousie in Halifax. She's now based in New York City
where Students for a Free Tibet is headquartered. She has been writing a
blog about her activities in China. Ms. Raoul, 25, and Mr. Price, 32,
are both from Vancouver. They were detained along with four others,
after they displayed a banner reading "One World, One Dream, Free Tibet
A spokesman for Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday
that consular officials in Beijing were still trying to verify the
reports that the activists were being detained.
"The Canadian Embassy in Beijing has asked Chinese authorities for
confirmation that Canadian citizens have been arrested," said Bernard
Nguyen. "If Canadian citizens have been arrested, our consular officials
will seek immediate consular access."
The protest was organized to mark the one-year countdown to the 2008
Olympics in Beijing, which begins Wednesday. The slogan for the Games is
"One World, One Dream."
The group Students for a Free Tibet maintain that the Chinese government
is exploiting the 2008 Summer Olympics and that the International
Olympic Committee (IOC) is allowing it to spread "propaganda."
"The Chinese government is trying to use the 2008 Olympics as a tool to
legitimize its illegal occupation of Tibet and also to gain acceptance
as a leader on the world stage and we think that's totally unacceptable
because of the reality on the ground and the real situation inside Tibet
which is one of very, very brutal occupation and oppression and
suppression of human rights," Tenzin Dorjee, deputy director of Students
for a Free Tibet, said in an interview from the organization's New York
office on Tuesday.
Mr. Dorjee said the group is trying to get help from consulate offices
in China to locate the protesters.
Students for a Free Tibet does not have confirmation that its six
members have been arrested and are assuming they are being held because
they lost contact with the protesters.
"Because we haven't heard anything from them, we're assuming they're
still in detention," said Mr. Dorjee.
During the demonstration, the protesters were communicating by cellphone
with their colleagues and even uploaded video of themselves unfurling
the banner using a laptop computer. Within minutes, the clip was posted
by the group on YouTube.
The organization is planning more protests leading up to the opening of
the Olympics on Aug. 8, 2008.
Articles in this Issue:
- Tibetan Canadian Observer detained in Beijing (SFT)
- One World, One Dream, One Big Human Rights Problem (Der Spiegel)
- Unlucky start to Games countdown (Scotsman)
- Great Wall protest (Vancouver Sun)
- China detains third Canadian, a leader of activist group seeking free
- 3rd Canadian detained by China, student group says (CBC)
- Activists arrested in China (The Province)
- Protesters in action as Beijing gets set for one-year countdown to
- Parents worried after 2 Vancouverites reportedly held in China (CBC)
- Canadians detained in China now leaving country, reports say
- Activists Step Up Criticism of China, One Year Before Beijing
- Beijing Olympics can't avoid political issues (New Zealand Herald)
- China: Human-Rights Pressure Increases As Olympic Countdown Begins
- Thousands of Tibetans march in Indian capital against China's rule
in Tibet (AP)
- Tibetans protest 2008 Beijing Olympics (ANI)
- Tibetans to hold massive rally against Chinese government (IANS)
- Indian Tibetans march to shame Olympics host China (Reuters)
- Terror in Tibet
- Sinopec establishes exploration base in Tibet
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