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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Beijing protester still committed to Tibetan cause

August 18, 2008

Vancouver woman one of five people arrested by police
Cassidy Olivier, colivier@theprovince.com
The Vancouver Province (Canada)
August 17, 2008

A Vancouver woman arrested in China for participating in a pro-Tibet
protest said Friday that, while glad to be home, the experience of
being detained in a police state hadn't shaken her commitment to the
Tibetan cause.

Nicole Rycroft, 41, was one of five pro-Tibet activists arrested in
Beijing Friday morning for climbing on top of the China Central
Television building and unfurling a large banner that read "Free
Tibet" in English and Chinese.

Rycroft, a native of Australia and a Canadian resident who has lived
in Vancouver for 12 years, and one other activist, Phil Kirk, 22,
from the U.K., rappelled down the side of the building to secure the
banner overtop an Olympics billboard that reads "Beijing 2008."

The banner remained there untouched for about 30 minutes before it
was removed by Chinese authorities. All five protesters were arrested
shortly thereafter. The other arrested activists were Americans Kelly
Osborne, 39, Bianca Bockman, 27, and Sam Maron, 22.

In an interview Friday following her return to Vancouver, Rycroft
told The Province the act was an attempt to shine the Olympic
spotlight on the ongoing "grave human rights situation" in Tibet and
to send a clear message to the Chinese government that "it takes more
than economic might to be a world leader."

Tibet and China have been in a constant state of conflict ever since
China laid claim to Tibetan sovereignty in the 1950s. Under Chinese
rule, Tibet has alleged massive human-rights violations bordering on genocide.

"I felt compelled to make a symbolic act," said Rycroft, adding the
Olympic ethos is being "sullied and undermined" by having the event
staged in China.

- The China Human Rights Coalition is planning a series of weekend
events in Vancouver that will focus on China's human rights policies
and practices. The events will be held by the Chinese Consulate on
Granville Street and will include a vigil from 1 to 4 p.m today.
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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