British Tibet protester will be deported
Monday 25 August 2008
As the fireworks, pomp and ceremony marked the end of the Beijing Olympics last night, a British Free Tibet protester held by the Chinese authorities for three days without charge heard that she was to be released and deported.
Mandi McKeown, a 41-year-old mother of two from Bristol, was arrested while filming three other Tibetan activists unfurling a "Free Tibet" banner near the Bird's Nest stadium.
She had been told she would be held for 10 days. Her case was raised by Gordon Brown when he met Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday.
The International Olympic Committee has strongly praised China's organisation of the Games, and IOC President Jacques Rogge, declaring the "truly exceptional" Beijing Games closed yesterday, told competitors in the Bird's Nest: "You have shown us the unifying power of sport".
But human rights groups said the Games proved to be even tougher on dissent than they had expected.
Ms McKeown will return to her five-year-old son, Hamish, and three-year-old daughter, Neve.
Eight Americans who were also being held for staging pro-free Tibet protests were also due to be released. The US embassy issued an angry statement at their detention saying it was "disappointed that China has not used the occasion of the Olympics to demonstrate greater tolerance and openness."
The sporting success of the Games has largely sidelined the mostly small protests calling for Tibetan independence. Most demonstrators held during the Olympics were swiftly deported, but in the latter stages, some protesters were jailed.
"After two days of negative publicity over its extrajudicial detention of 10 Tibet supporters, the Chinese government is seeking to suppress a story that would have cast a shadow over the closing ceremony of these Olympic Games, which includes a final propaganda push to legitimise China's rule in Tibet, with Tibetans singing and dancing along with other so-called "ethnic minorities," Lhadon Tethong, executive director of Students for a Free Tibet said in a statement.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £50k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 bus...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...