China Detains Americans Protesting Over Tibet

AP photographers also roughed up
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2008 8:35 AM CDT
Plainclothes security officers detain Associated Press photographer Ng Han Guan, center, after pro-Tibet activists protested opposite the National Stadium, Thursday July 21, 2008 in Beijing.   (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
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(Newser) – Six Americans protesting China's rule over Tibet have been given 10-day detentions, in a rare instance of such punishments being meted out to visitors, the New York Times reports. Such extrajudicial detentions are common for Chinese dissidents, but foreigners at the Olympics have until now been quietly and instantly deported. Another four foreigners were apprehended yesterday, including two Americans, a German, and a Briton, during a large protest with Chinese dissidents.

Two AP photographers were also roughed up and taken into custody in that incident, but they were released after their memory cards were confiscated. Chinese authorities did not release names of the dissidents—other than naming one as “Thomas,” and the US embassy says it is attempting to contact Chinese authorities to verify the reports. The detentions may be China’s attempt to deter more protests in the Olympics final days.