Beijing, August 15 - Five foreign activists were deported Friday after they scaled a landmark building in Beijing to unfurl a ''Free Tibet'' banner over the top of an Olympic Games billboard in the latest protest during the games.
Television footage by Britain's Sky News showed the activists, draped in Tibetan nationalist flags and wearing helmets, dangling from ropes as they hung the black-and-white banner about 20 feet off the ground at the new headquarters of state-owned China Central Television, which is still under construction. Police quickly took the banner down.
The Beijing Public Security Bureau said in a faxed reply to questions that the protesters had ''engaged in activities that violated Chinese law.'' Police ordered the activists to leave the country, it said.
Students for a Free Tibet's campaigns director, Kate Woznow, confirmed the five activists were deported later Friday. The group said the activists included three Americans, a Briton and a Canadian.
It was the latest in a series of protests by pro-Tibet and other activists who have sought to use the Olympic Games to criticize China for alleged repressive rule in Tibet, rights abuses and religious restrictions. Other foreign demonstrators have been quickly deported.