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Sino-Swedes demonstrate for Beijing olympics

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Sino-Swedes demonstrate for Beijing olympics
08:45 CEST+02:00
Around 500 Chinese-Swedes demonstrated in Stockholm on Saturday in support of the Beijing Olympic games.

The demonstrators gathered outside the royal castle and parliament buildings in central Stockholm to show their support for the games which have come in for broad criticism in recent weeks.

"There has recently been such a negative tone in the media against the Olympic games in Beijing. We want to show our support and our enthusiasm for the games," said John Hamben, a spokesperson for the demonstrators.

Hamben said that there was much to be done with regard to human rights in China, but that the process takes time. A boycott would be the wrong way to effect change, he argued.

Hamben denied that Chinese authorities were involved in organising the demonstration.

"We have no links to the embassy or Chinese authorities," he said.

Recent protests against the games have been excessive, Hamben argued.

"The attacks against the Olympic flame are tasteless. To attack the Olympic games is to attack freedom," he said.

But the demonstrators were not entirely unified in their message as they were joined by a group of Uighur-Swedes, originating from the north-western province of Xinjiang. The Uighur-Swedes called for a boycott of the games.

"We are part of an oppressed minority in China whose human rights are not respected. The only right thing to do is to boycott the games in order to put pressure on the Chinese authorities," said Abudushukur Mohammed.

The Uighur-Swedes had not applied for permission for their demonstration and their presence was not appreciated by the other group of demonstrators.

"We have been told by the police not to wave our flag - that is why we have rolled it up," said Abudushukur.

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