Two People Have Been Detained in Athens for Protesting the Beijing Winter Olympics

ATHENS, Greece — Two ladies were detained by Greek police while attempting to hoist a banner from the Acropolis in Athens on Sunday morning in protest of the impending Beijing Winter Olympics.

Tsela Zoksang, an 18-year-old Tibetan student, and Joey Siu, a 22-year-old exiled Hong Kong activist, is part of the “No Beijing 2022” campaign, according to a statement from the New York-based organization Students for a Free Tibet.

They and a third person paid their way into the archeological site, and then Zoksang and Siu went onto some scaffolding and attempted to unfurl the flag from there.

A security officer went over and removed the banner from them. The two ladies stayed on the scaffolding, waving a Tibetan flag and a smaller banner that said, “Free Hong Kong Revolution.” “Free Tibet,” “Boycott Beijing 2022,” and “No freedom, no Games” were among the chants yelled. The protestors were apprehended by police and incarcerated.

The whole thing took around ten minutes.

“Now is the moment for the international world, as well as all people of conscience, to rise up and boycott Beijing 2022; anything less will be a blatant support of China’s murderous government,” Zoksang was cited in the statement as saying. “The IOC is sending a message to the world that it is OK to ignore genocide and crimes against humanity in Hong Kong, Tibet, East Turkestan, and Southern Mongolia,” Siu continued.

The Olympic flame for the 24th Winter Games will be ignited on Monday at Ancient Olympia and handed over to the Chinese on Tuesday during a ceremony at Athens’ Panathenian Stadium. The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee convened in Athens on Saturday. The board will meet at Ancient Olympia later Sunday to commemorate the Executive Board’s 100th anniversary. The Olympic flame ceremony’s dress rehearsal will also take place on Sunday.

A prior protest against China’s hosting of the Summer Olympic Games took occurred in Athens in March 2008, when a group of Greek and Tibetan activists attempted but failed to disrupt the torch relay for that year’s Summer Olympics.

The Beijing Winter Games will take place from February 4 to February 20, 2022, followed by the Paralympic Games from March 4 to March 13, 2022.

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