Two Tibet activist unfurl banners near Beijing stadium

Other News Materials 6 August 2008 08:07 (UTC +04:00)

Two men who support a Tibet free of China's rule on Wednesday scaled 120-foot light posts near the National Stadium in Beijing and unfurled banners calling for a free Tibet, the American TV station ABC News reported. ( dpa )

One banner reportedly read in large black letters "One World One Dream Free Tibet." It hung down a large section of a pole, as one of the activist clung to the pole, according to a picture shown on the station's website.

The second banner read, " Tibet will be free," ABC said.

The two men, members of the group Students for a Free Tibet, climbed down and police checked their identification, but did not handcuff them, ABC said. It said authorities were polite and did not use rough treatment of the men.

Within 10 minutes of the banners' unfurling, firemen arrived in several firetrucks with extended ladders and remove them from the light posts, ABC said.

One climber, who identified himself as Ian from Edinburgh, Scotland, was quoted by ABC News via mobile phone while climbing down that he hoped his "skills would be useful to call for a real difference."

He said he entered China with a group from Britain on a tourist visa, according to ABC News.

"I'll probably get detained by the police and then ejected out of the country but I believe it's not anywhere near the risk or the fear that Tibetans are living under the occupation of the Chinese government," he was quoted as saying.

The incident happened as the torch relay went through held in Beijing's streets Wednesday, two days before the opening ceremony of the Games in the National Stadium.

It also comes two days after China said two men in its restive Xinjiang region attacked a group of armed police with explosives and knives, killing 16 officers and injuring 16 others. The incident was blamed on Muslim Uighur "terrorists."