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Page last updated at 03:53 GMT, Monday, 25 August 2008 04:53 UK

China deports US Tibet protesters

A pro-Tibet protest, Beijing, 15/08
Signs of dissent have been rare during the Beijing Olympics

China has deported eight Americans detained in Beijing last week for demonstrating about Tibet during the Olympic Games.

The eight left China on Sunday while the closing ceremony was taking place after American officials pressed for them to be released.

Washington had voiced "disappointment" that China had not used the Olympics "to demonstrate greater tolerance".

Two other detainees, a Briton and a German, were reportedly also freed.

The eight Americans were deported by the Chinese authorities at 2100 Chinese time (1300 GMT) on Sunday on a China Air flight to Los Angeles, the White House said.

They had been among dozens of foreigners who evaded security checks to demonstrate in favour of Tibetan independence and were arrested on 20-21 August.

They had faced up to 10 days in custody after hanging a "Free Tibet" banner near an Olympic venue and holding other small demonstrations.

Briton Mandie McKeown is expected to arrive home on Monday.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown had raised Ms McKeown's case when he met his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, in Beijing on Friday.

Florian Norbu Gyanatshang, an ethnic Tibetan German, is said by German media to have been released and to be on his way home.


SEE ALSO
US urges China to free activists
24 Aug 08 |  Asia-Pacific
UK Tibet protester to be released
24 Aug 08 |  Asia-Pacific

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