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6 American Pro-Tibet Activists Detained in Beijing Tuesday

U.S.-based Students for a Free Tibet says Chinese authorities have detained six more of its members and supporters in Beijing.

The group says five American members were detained Tuesday evening in Beijing's Olympic park after unfurling a "Free Tibet" banner. The message was spelled out in English and Chinese using bright blue lights.

The group also says that earlier in the day, American artist James Powderly was detained in the Chinese capital, where he was planning to use laser lights to beam pro-Tibet messages onto buildings.

The group's deputy director, Tenzin Dorjee, said in a statement that the Tibet issue will not disappear until Chinese leaders acknowledge the demands of the Tibetan people to end China's occupation.

The group says Chinese authorities have detained and deported 37 of its members and supporters who were involved in six previous protests in Beijing over the past two weeks.

On Monday, the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet said more than 40 athletes competing in the Beijing Olympics have downloaded from the Internet an album of Tibet-solidarity songs performed by prominent musicians.

The Chinese government said it would allow some demonstrations in designated protest zones during the Olympics. But Chinese state media have reported that the government rejected all 77 applications for protests it received this month. Some applicants have also been detained.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had planned to join the closing ceremonies on Sunday. But the White House said Tuesday that Rice is too busy addressing global problems, including Russia's invasion of Georgia, to attend the event. U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao will stand in for Rice.