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Chinese Police Sentence 6 Foreigners to 10 Days Detention


Chinese police say they have sentenced six foreigners to 10 days of administrative detention, in what appears to be the first sentencing of foreigners for protesting during the Olympics.

Police released a statement saying that the foreigners were detained Tuesday for "disrupting public order," but did not provide other details.

The group Students for a Free Tibet says the detainees are probably six Americans who have been missing since Tuesday. The group's Deputy Director Tenzin Dorjee told VOA Tibetan service that the detained include a New York-based artist who was planning to create a laser light display. The group says the five others are "citizen journalists" who did not participate directly in the pro-Tibet protests in Beijing.

U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Wood said it is looking into the reports of the arrests.

Students for a Free Tibet says five other American pro-Tibet activists detained after a protest late Tuesday were deported the following day, as have nearly 40 others.

The group says four more foreign activists were detained early Thursday after unfurling a Tibetan flag near the "Bird's Nest" Olympic stadium.

The Associated Press says several disgruntled Hong Kong business owners were detained after holding a protest in central Beijing Thursday.

AP also says two of its photographers were roughed up by plainclothes security officers, who briefly detained them and seized their cameras' memory cards.

Also Thursday, users of Apple computers online music store, iTunes, found that it was blocked after U.S.-based International Campaign for Tibet announced that 40 Olympic athletes had downloaded a pro-Tibet album.

Chinese officials acknowledge that no applications to hold demonstrations in Beijing during the Olympics have been approved. Human rights groups say several people who applied for permission have been detained.

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

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