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China Releases Tibet Rights Activists


Members of a campaign to end China's rule in Tibet say Chinese officials have released eight foreign activists after they were detained in Beijing earlier this week.

The New York-based group, Students for a Free Tibet, said its executive director, Lhadon Tethong, a colleague Paul Golding and six other activists Canadian, British and U.S. citizens were released and flown to Hong Kong Wednesday.

The group says its two members were taken into custody as they were traveling to Beijing's Tiananmen Square Wednesday. They were trying to attend a one-year countdown celebration for the Beijing Olympics.

Chinese police detained the six other protesters Tuesday after they unfurled a banner on the Great Wall of China calling for a free Tibet.

China says it will not allow politics to interfere with the Olympics. Rights groups are increasingly using the Olympics to highlight what they call a wide range of problems in China.

For the past week, Lhadon Tethong has been traveling in Beijing, and openly blogging at www.beijingwideopen.org online about her experiences and to expose what the group says is the reality behind China's Olympics' propaganda campaign.

Nearly 10-thousand Tibetans marched in India's capital Wednesday to protest China's actions in Tibet one year before the 2008 Olympic Games start in Beijing.

International media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders this week held protests in both Beijing and New York, accusing China of not living up to its commitments as a host of the 2008 Olympics.

China has ruled Tibet since sending troops to the region in 1950.

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