Nepal Boots Pro-Tibet US Climber

American banned from Everest for two years over protest banner
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2008 12:45 PM CDT
Nepalese policemen detain a Tibetan protester outside the Chinese Embassy's visa office in Katmandu, Nepal, Tuesday, April 29, 2008.   (AP Photo/Binod Joshi)
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(Newser) – Nepal deported an American climber yesterday, the Times of India reports, after police at a Mount Everest base camp found a pro-Tibetan banner in his backpack. Nepal, staunchly pro-China, has enacted restrictions—and authorized security forces to use guns—to prevent protests when the Olympic torch ascends the world's tallest mountain in May.

William Brant Holland's banner was found in a search at the base camp, and he was escorted to the airport by “tourism police,” Nepal's tourism minister said, adding that Holland was banned from climbing in the country for two years. Nepalese police have dealt harshly with protesters so far, breaking up demonstrations with beatings.