Five Americans who were detained and deported by China earlier this week for holding a pro-Tibetan independence demonstration on the base of Mount Everest say they feared for their lives while in Chinese custody.

The five, including a Tibetan-American, arrived Friday in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu. The activists told reporters there Saturday they were psychologically intimidated while in custody.

Chinese authorities have not responded to the comments.

The activists were detained Wednesday after unfurling banners at Mount Everest, calling for Tibetan independence and criticizing the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Beijing officials want to take the Olympic torch up Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain, which has one side in Tibet.

Chinese troops occupied Tibet in the 1950s. Beijing continues to rule the region with a heavy hand.

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