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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?"

Protests mark one year countdown to Beijing Olympics

August 08, 2007

Local Tibetans and supporters hold vigil at Montreal Olympic Park

(Montreal, August 8, 2007) As China is marking the one year countdown before the start of its 2008 Olympics, local Tibetans and their supporters are taking action at the Montreal Olympic Park, to demand an end to China’s illegal occupation of Tibet. “For over 50 years, Tibet has been denied the opportunity to participate as a nation amongst nations on the international stage, including at next year’s Games”, said Maude Cote, a Student for a Free Tibet member. “The International Olympic Committee is complicit to the Chinese government by letting it use the Games to legitimize their brutal occupation of Tibet”, she added.

The vigil is part of the mass movement called “Team Tibet”, an international group of people challenging the Chinese government and the IOC to take immediate steps to resolve the Tibet issue or face increased protests in the lead up and during the Beijing Olympics.

“Today, here in Montreal and in dozens of cities across the world, Tibetans and their supporters are demanding that Tibet be part of the 2008 Olympics, through a campaign that will escalate over the next year to shine the Olympic spotlight on Tibetans’ lack of freedom as a nation”, Canada-Tibet Committee Executive Director Dermod Travis.

This action is taking place as six activists, including two Canadians, remain detained in China after unfurling a banner on the Great Wall of China that read: One World, One Dream, Free Tibet 2008 in English and Mandarin. Last April, four activists, including a Tibetan, were also arrested at the Everest base camp while opposing China’s plan to run the Olympic torch to Tibet’s Mount Everest.

Dermod Travis (514) 487-0665 (Canada Tibet Committee):

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