Torch Back in China After Tumultuous Tour

No protests, but advocates deported and barred ahead of Friday's Hong Kong relay
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2008 12:00 PM CDT
Torch Back in China After Tumultuous Tour
The Olympic torch is displayed as it arrives at the Hong Kong Airport, Wednesday, April 30, 2008. The torch will pass through Hong Kong on Friday, May 2, 2008. (AP Photo)   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – There were no protests in Hong Kong today as the Olympic torch returned to Chinese soil. But reports were rampant of advocates and would-be protesters being deported or barred from entering the country, the New York Times reports. China says it’s dedicated to allowing peaceful demonstrations, but yesterday deported three pro-Tibetan advocates, and over the weekend denied entry to four more.

Three Danes were detained for six hours after landing in Hong Kong, before being forced to fly elsewhere. “It really hurts the image of Hong Kong as an international city when we start restricting freedom of access,” said one democracy advocate. Hong Kong is traditionally more tolerant of protest than Beijing, and so may see more demonstrations during the Games. (Read more Hong Kong stories.)

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