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Swiss detain Tibet protesters during Xi visit

Monday, January 16, 2017 - 01:03

Police detain 32 Tibetans and other protesters during a visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Switzerland for the Davos Economic Forum. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Swiss police detained 32 Tibetans and Swiss nationals protesting against a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday (January 17), a police spokesman said. Swiss authorities had limited the duration of the protest in the centre of Bern to two hours before noon (1100 GMT) to avoid the kind of confrontation that marked the last visit by a Chinese president 18 years ago. Several people near a security zone set up for the state visit failed to comply with police instructions, Bern cantonal police said in a statement. At noon, police prevented a man from setting himself on fire, according to the statement. The man was taken care of by doctors. Fourteen activists were detained near the Swiss parliament building in the afternoon as they continued to protest past the time restriction, waving posters saying "Free Tibet" and "Don't Deal With Killers", the association of Tibetan Youth in Europe said. "The situation inside Tibet is getting worse day by day. Our people are being oppressed, our people are being imprisoned," the association's spokeswoman Migmar Dhakyel said. "We are really concerned (about) how our government, our own government treats us, doesn't permit us to demonstrate." Between 700 and 800 Tibetans and Swiss had gathered in the city centre. Most of them left before noon as agreed with Bern municipal security, according to organisers. The Chinese leader arrived in the Swiss capital for a gala dinner on Sunday afternoon. After holding talks with Swiss officials on Monday (January 16), he will attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday (January 17), a first for a Chinese president. In 1999, demonstrators took to roofs overlooking the Swiss parliament with banners demanding "Free Tibet" during a visit by China's then-president Jiang Zemin.

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Swiss detain Tibet protesters during Xi visit

Monday, January 16, 2017 - 01:03