Accessibility links

Olympic Flame Arrives in Beijing for Welcome in Tiananmen Square


The Olympic torch for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games has arrived in Beijing.

The torch arrived on a flight Monday morning from Greece, where Tibetan exiles and human rights activists tried unsuccessfully to disrupt a handover ceremony Sunday.

Security will be tight in Beijing's Tiananmen Square during a welcoming ceremony there for the torch's arrival.

From Beijing, runners will carry it across much of the world in the run-up to the August Summer Games.

Protests that have disrupted the relay since it began last week are expected to continue as runners carry the torch next to London, Paris and San Francisco.

On one leg of the route, the torch is set to pass through Tibet on its way to Mt. Everest. Human rights groups are demanding a ban on that part of the journey, until

Beijing agrees to permit an international investigation of the Tibetan unrest.

Several European countries have said they may boycott the opening ceremony of the games, depending on China's handling of the situation in Tibet. Only two heads of state have announced their decision to boycott the ceremony, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she has no plans to attend.

Reporters Without Borders has asked athletes and those who attend the games in August to wear a badge that says "freedom" in Chinese to express their concern about the human rights situation in the country.

Several Olympic sponsors - including Coca Cola, Samsung and Lenovo - have continued to express support for the Games, which open August 8 in Beijing. Adidas sportswear company has said it is conscious of the situation in Tibet, but said a boycott would be counterproductive.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG