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Police Quash Olympic Protests in Beijing, Hong Kong


A Tibetan rights group says five of its members protested in Beijing's Tiananmen Square Saturday and were detained by authorities.

The group Free Tibet says three Americans and one German laid down and covered themselves with Tibetan flags while a Canadian told the story of China's invasion and occupation of Tibet.

The group says the protest lasted ten minutes before police led away the three men and two women.

In Hong Kong, security personnel removed at least one protester from an Olympic equestrian event Saturday, after an attempt to display a Tibetan flag.

Christina Chan, who became well-known for her protests during the Hong Kong leg of the Olympic torch relay in May, was ejected from the event. It is not known if the university student was placed under arrest.

China kept tight control in Beijing Friday, but foreign demonstrators managed to breach security at Beijing's main Olympic venue to stage a brief protest just before the opening ceremony of the Games. The U.S.-based group Students for a Free Tibet says three Americans displayed Tibetan flags for less than a minute before being detained.

Elsewhere Friday, protests against China's human rights record were held in a number of countries, including India, Nepal, Turkey, England, France, Belgium, Germany and Thailand.

Most demonstrators focused on China's treatment of Tibetans. Others focused on China's restrictions on freedom of religion and expression, as well as its treatment of minorities.

In the Turkish capital, Ankara, a man set himself on fire outside the Chinese Embassy during a protest by ethnic Uighurs against China's human rights record.

In Nepal, police detained more than 1,000 Tibetan exiles gathered outside the Chinese Embassy to protest China's crackdown on anti-government protesters in Tibet.

In India's capital New Delhi, more than 1,000 Tibetan exiles braved heavy rains outside the Chinese Embassy, shouting "Free Tibet" and "Stop the Olympics." Heavily-armed police later stopped protesters from storming the embassy.

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


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