2 arrested in Athens for protesting the Beijing Olympics | Sports

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Two women tried to hang up a banner from the Acropolis in Athens on Sunday morning in protest against the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Beijing and were arrested by the Greek police.

The activists, 18-year-old Tibetan student Tsela Zoksang and 22-year-old exiled Hong Kong activist Joey Siu, both American citizens, are members of the “No Beijing 2022” campaign, according to a statement by the New York organization Students for a Free Tibet said.

She and a third person entered the archaeological site as paying customers, and then Zoksang and Siu climbed onto a scaffold from which they tried to unfurl the banner.

A security officer rushed to them and took the banner. The two women stayed on the scaffolding and set up a Tibetan flag and a smaller banner that read “Hong Kong Free Revolution”. They also chanted slogans like “Free Tibet”, “Boycott Beijing 2022” and “No Freedom, no Games”. The police came and arrested the demonstrators.

The whole incident lasted about 10 minutes.

“Now is the time for the international community and all people of conscience to take a stand and boycott Beijing in 2022; anything else would be a clear endorsement of China’s genocidal regime, ”Zoksang is quoted as saying in the statement. “The IOC is sending the world a message that it is okay to turn a blind eye to genocide and crimes against humanity in Hong Kong, Tibet, East Turkestan and southern Mongolia,” Siu added.

The Olympic flame for the 24th Winter Games will be lit in ancient Olympia on Monday and handed over to the Chinese on Tuesday at a ceremony in Athens’ Panathenian Stadium. The board of the International Olympic Committee met in Athens on Saturday. The board will meet later on Sunday in ancient Olympia to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the board’s founding. The dress rehearsal for the Olympic flame ceremony will also take place on Sunday.

A protest against China’s hosting of the Summer Olympics had previously taken place in Athens in March 2008; a few dozen Greek and Tibetan activists tried unsuccessfully to disrupt the torch relay for this year’s Summer Olympics.

The Winter Games in Beijing will take place from February 4th to 20th, 2022, the Paralympics from March 4th to 13th.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.

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