SAN FRANCISCO - Two days before the opening ceremony of the Olympic games in Beijing, one activist was injured when officials at the Chinese consulate allegedly cut her climbing rope, causing her to drop around 15 feet and land on her back, while a second activist was allegedly beaten and taken into custody.
The demonstrators were part of a larger group of two dozen gathered outside the consulate to protest China’s human rights record in Tibet.
Demonstrators from Students for a Free Tibet and the Tibetan Youth Congress staged a mock hanging of a woman protester from the roof of the consulate. They held banners that said "Stop the Killing in Tibet."
Chinese officials allegedly cut or untied her rope, according to multiple witnesses.
“She couldn’t move and was taken away in an ambulance,” said Henry Steinberg, who witnessed the incident.
Tenzin Dasang, a demonstrator with the Tibetan Youth Conference, expressed dismay at the reaction to what he described as a peaceful, nonviolent protest.
“We are shocked at how governmont officials in this country behaved around something like this,” said Dasang. “It really shows how they think and how they act; it’s hard to imagine what happens behind closed doors in Tibet when they do something like this, outside in plain view.”
Firefighters and police surrounded the building.
China's human rights record and its policies in Tibet have been a flash point in the run-up to the games and activists have used the games to highlight their causes.
In April, massive protests accompanied the Olympic torch relay during its stop in San Francisco.