(TibetanReview.net, Oct17’21) – Police in the Greek capital Athens have arrested this morning two female activists from the USA, including a Tibetan, as they attempted to hang a banner from the Acropolis in protest at the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, reported the AP.
The report said the activists, 18-year-old Tibetan student Tsela Zoksang and 22-year-old Hong Kong exiled-activist Joey Siu, were members of the ‘No Beijing 2022’ campaign. Zoksang belongs to Students for a Free Tibet group, which campaigns for Tibet’s independence from Chinese rule.
The duo climbed up a scaffolding surrounding part of the monument when police took them into custody without the formality of an arrest, reported Reuters Oct 17.
The police snatched away their banner. However, the duo managed to deploy a Tibetan flag and a smaller banner proclaiming, “Free Hong Kong Revolution,” while chanting slogans such as “Free Tibet,” “Boycott Beijing 2022” and “No freedom, no Games,” said the AP report.
The protest was held hours before a dress rehearsal in Greece’s Olympia, site of the ancient Olympics, of the torch-lighting ceremony for the Beijing Winter Olympics set to take place on Monday (Oct 18).
Human rights activists have pledged more actions until Tuesday’s flame handover to Chinese Games organisers in Athens.
The ‘No Beijing 2022’ campaign in a coalition of Tibetan, Uyghur, Hong Kong, Chinese, Taiwanese, and Mongolian human rights activists. It demands that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reverse its ‘mistake’ in awarding Beijing the honour of hosting the Winter Olympic Games in 2022.
The coalition is accusing the IOC of ignoring rights abuses by China “including a genocide of the Uyghur people, the brutal and illegal occupation of Tibet, and the severe and worsening crackdown against freedom and democracy in Hong Kong.”
The IOC has ignored international calls for hold the 2022 Winter Games in some other country, climing this as not a part of its mandate.
Earlier, the Beijing 2008 Summer Games flame ceremony was also severely disrupted by a string of protests from human rights activists, which was the start of international demonstrations over China’s human rights record leading up to the Olympics, noted the Reuters report.