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China Deports Jailed Foreign Activists During Olympic Closing Ceremony


China has begun to release foreign pro-Tibet activists after appeals from the British and U.S. governments.

Chinese police last week sentenced 10 foreign nationals to 10 days of administrative detention for their involvement in pro-Tibet protests.

All of the eight American detainees were released and deported during Sunday's Olympic closing ceremony. The top U.S. diplomat in China, Ambassador Clark Randt, had called for their immediate release.

Britain's embassy in Beijing said Sunday that a British activist detained shortly after midnight on Wednesday will also be deported. An embassy official said Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was in Beijing for the closing ceremonies, personally lobbied for the woman's release.

The Associated Press cites a German official as saying the only remaining foreign detainee, a 30-year-old half-Tibetan and half-German man, will be deported Monday.

The U.S.-based Students for a Free Tibet says 53 foreign activists from North America, Europe and Asia were deported in connection with pro-Tibet protests in Beijing since August 6.

Questions regarding China's human rights record, freedom of expression, and policies in Tibet persistently loomed over the Beijing Olympics, which ended Sunday.

China says it is fulfilling promises on human rights and freedom of the press issues it made when Beijing was awarded the Games.

The Foreign Correspondents Club in China says the group has confirmed more than 30 cases of reporting interference, and heard of another 20 during the Games.

And, while China designated three parks as protest zones during the Games, Chinese officials say not one of 77 requests for protests was approved. In some cases, Chinese citizens who applied to protest and followed the directions of authorities were detained or harassed.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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