Pro- Tibetan activists protest Beijing Olympics

Students for a Free Tibet promise to hold world-wide demonstrations at the Beijing Olympics to protest Chinese policy in Tibet.

Tibet activists 88 224 (photo credit: AP [file])
Tibet activists 88 224
(photo credit: AP [file])
Pro-Tibetan activists on Tuesday promised worldwide protests during the Beijing Olympics and said they would try to penetrate security to mount demonstrations in Beijing itself. An international network of student activists, Students for a Free Tibet, will hold demonstrations around the world "and probably in Beijing" during the Aug. 8-24 Games to protest China's security clampdown in Tibet, said group spokeswoman Lhadon Tethong. Tethong also called on the International Olympic Committee to cancel the planned passage of the Olympic flame through Tibet next week and to press China to allow immediate media access to the area. She was speaking at a news conference in Athens, where the IOC executive board will start a three-day meeting Wednesday to select the candidate cities for the 2016 Olympics. The group, which also organized protests along the route of the Olympic flame, would have a tough time carrying off a demonstration in Beijing, and Tethong gave no details on how they would get around security. China's authoritarian government has promised a massive security presence at the Games, which may include undercover agents dressed as volunteers. It has also tightened controls on visas and residence permits for foreigners - who are banned from entering Tibet. Tethong accused China of "drawing a curtain of silence" across Tibet. "In denying access to Tibet for the international media the Chinese government is attempting to prevent confirmation and coverage of killings, beatings, arrests, detentions, re-education camps and other such repression." China said 22 people died in anti-government violence in Tibet's capital of Lhasa in March, while foreign Tibet supporters say many times that number were killed in the protests and a subsequent crackdown. Tethong said the situation in Tibet remains "critical." "It's as bad (as in March) if not worse," she said. "There is a horrific military occupation and repression."