FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 20 OCTOBER 2021
***Interviews with arrested activists and movement leaders available upon request.
Pyrgos, 20 October — The three Tibetan-rights activists who disrupted the Olympic flame-lighting ceremony on Tuesday have just been released from police detention following their appearance in court today.
Chemi Lhamo (Tibetan-Canadian), Jason Leith (United Kingdom) of London-based campaign organization Free Tibet, and activist Fern MacDougal (USA), were arrested after they successfully disrupted the Olympic flame-lighting ceremony which was taking place at the Temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia. The activists were protesting against China hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics and calling on governments to boycott Beijing 2022 due to the host’s extreme and worsening human rights violations against Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hongkongers, and Southern Mongolians.
The three activists have been charged with ‘destruction of a monument’ despite no damage being caused by them during their protest. The hearing has been postponed and will be heard on 3rd February 2022 – one day before the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are due to open.
Their release marks the last of the activists in Greece, associated with the No Beijing 2022 campaign, to be freed. Over the last three days, nine Tibet protesters have been detained or arrested by Greek police for peacefully protesting or representing the campaign.  On 18 October, Students for a Free Tibet and Tibetan Youth Association Europe activists were detained for several hours without ever being accused of a crime. On the 19th, after holding a press conference in Athens, two of those same activists were detained after being pulled over by Greek police while taking a taxi back to their hotel. 
Chemi Lhamo, said:
“China has no business hosting the 2022 Olympics given that the Chinese Communist Party is hell bent on trying to eliminate the Tibetan identity, genociding the Uyghur people, destroying democracy in Hong Kong, and restricting the language rights of Southern Mongolians. A boycott of these Genocide Games is the only proper solution to address these unprecedented crimes. I hope that everyone who saw our action during the Torch Ceremony takes a moment to truly consider whether they’d like to stand with us or stand against freedom and human rights.”
Jason Leith said:
“I’m happy we’ve been able to draw attention to the IOC’s hypocrisy in offering another Olympics to China. The Olympics should be about unity, friendship and diversity but these are more than just words and they are meaningless if the Games take place in a country that is systematically oppressing Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hongkongers and others, destroying their cultures and brutally putting down any opposition.”