Review planned as London Eye reopens following protest

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The Independent Online

The London Eye is today open for business, just hours after police arrested 50 campaigners who brought it to a standstill.

The London Eye is today open for business, just hours after police arrested 50 campaigners who brought it to a standstill.

Demonstrators hijacked two of the viewing pods on the attraction to protest against the treatment of political prisoners in Turkey.

They occupied the pods for six hours and two men threatened to set themselves on fire as part of the protest.

A spokeswoman for the British Airways-sponsored attraction said security at the wheel was constantly reviewed and said procedures would be examined again.

Scotland Yard said the protest began at 2.45pm yesterday with two groups of 25 boarding the Eye and filling two pods on opposite sides of the wheel.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Andy Trotter said the Eye was stopped and the 350 members of the public on board were then released within 30 minutes.

He said police negotiated with the demonstrators and after some time they were arrested and taken away to central London police stations.

He said they were charged with threats to cause criminal damage. Despite suggestions, there was no evidence they had flammable materials with them.

One of the London Eye protesters, Sinan Unal, speaking on a mobile phone during the protest, said he was among friends and relatives of political prisoners in Turkey.

He said a man in each of the hijacked pods had doused himself with petrol and was prepared to set himself alight to highlight the cause.

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