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Deported Free Tibet Activists Arrive at Frankfurt Airport Today after Dramatic Olympic Protest In Beijing

August 13, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Students for Free Tibet (UK)
August 11, 2008

Contacts: In Germany, for David Demes: Gabriele Demes, +49 64829 490206
In London (German & English language): Dechen Pemba, +44 7784 823907
In London (English language): Han-Shan, +44 7876 327143

Frankfurt -- Tibet supporter David Demes and Tibetan-German
Padma-Dolma Fielitz return home today after being deported for
demonstrating for Tibetan freedom in Beijing.

David Demes held a dramatic protest in Tiananmen Square with four
other Tibet activists early afternoon Saturday, August 9th, calling
for an end to the Chinese government's occupation of Tibet. Demes and
three others staged a "die-in," lying on the ground draped in Tibetan
national flags, with the famous portrait of Mao in the background. A
fifth activist narrated the context and background for the political
theater. Demes, 21, from Germany, Evan Silverman, 31, Diane
Gatterdam, 55, and Joan Roney, 39, from the United States, and Chris
Schwartz, 24, from Canada, were detained by plain-clothes security
approximately ten minutes after the protest began.

Demes departs from Hong Kong at 11:05pm on August 10th on Turkish
Airlines Flight #7, connects through Istanbul, and arrives on Turkish
Airlines Flight #1587 in Frankfurt at 10:35am on August 11th.
Spokespeople from Students for a Free Tibet will be available for
comment by telephone, and Demes will offer remarks on his actions in
Beijing and subsequent detention and deportation.

Demes, 21, was born in Limburg, Germany and is currently studying and
living in Giessen. He is currently a primary coordinator of Students
for a Free Tibet Germany.

Photos and video footage of Demes' action and his full biography are
available at: http://freetibet2008.org/globalactions/tsquare/

Padma-Dolma Fielitz staged a protest just outside the southern
entrance of Tiananmen Square with four other Tibet activists at
3:10pm Beijing time on Sunday, August 10th. Padma-Dolma and another
activist held the Tibetan national flag aloft before being accosted
by Chinese security personnel. As Chinese security tried to wrest the
flags away, Padma-Dolma was seen being dragged across the ground.
Shortly after, three other activists attempted to unveil a large
banner reading "Tibetans are dying for freedom," before being removed
by Chinese security officials. The protest lasted approximately five
minutes and all five protesters were detained by the Chinese authorities.

Padma-Dolma, 21, from Germany, has a Tibetan father and a German
mother. She was born and raised in Germany and currently lives in
London where she studies Economics and Development Studies at the
School of Oriental and African Studies. The other four activists
included two Americans, John Hocevar, 40, of Austin, Texas, and Adam
Zenko, 35, of San Francisco, California and two Canadians, Maude
Côté, 28, of Quebec, and Steven Erich Andersen, 28, of Alberta.

Before the action, Padma-Dolma said, "There are no words to describe
the terrible suffering of my people at this moment – the Chinese
government is relentlessly crushing the Tibetan people when they
desire nothing more than the restoration of their basic rights and
freedom. Tibetans are being killed, silenced and marginalized, our
precious religion strangled, as the Chinese government attempts to
extinguish all trace of Tibetan identity. I am protesting today to
tell the world that, while it stares mesmerized at China's Olympic
Games, my people are being crushed under the boot of Chinese oppression."

Padma-Dolma is the first Tibetan known to have protested in Beijing
since the Games began. Fearful of protests, the Chinese government
has made it a priority to clear Tibetans out of Beijing in the run up
to the Games and have blocked Tibetans from Tibet and those living in
exile from traveling to China.

Padma-Dolma has been deported from Beijing, but her exact flight has
not been confirmed, however she is expected to arrive into Frankfurt
Airport early this morning (after 6am). She plans to stay in Germany
for several days, after which she will return to London. She will be
available for media interviews in both Germany and the United Kingdom.

Photos and video footage of Padma-Dolma's action and her full
biography are available at:
http://freetibet2008.org/globalactions/tibetanprotest/

Tibet groups are planning ongoing protests and events for the
duration of the Beijing Games, from Santiago to Montevideo, New York
to Toronto, London to Warsaw, Delhi to Brisbane, and many more, to
highlight the Chinese government's use of the Olympics in an attempt
to legitimize its rule in Tibet, and to call on the Chinese
leadership to meaningfully address the Tibetan cause.

Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) is a network of young people and
activists campaigning for Tibetan independence, with 700 chapters in
more than thirty countries worldwide. SFT's international
headquarters are in New York, with offices in Toronto, London, and
Dharamsala, India.

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CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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