Oct 21, 2021

Tibet : UNPO support for Activists in Greece Arrested

UNPO is dismayed to see an EU country where Tibetan activists are arrested for protesting the Beijing Winter Olympics, set to be held in 2022. This seems to be a now all too frequent case of a country bowing to soft power pressure in exchange for sacrifice some basic civil and political legal rights and democratic norms.


Photo by Chris Beckett

It is in particular the second set of the activists arrests by the Greek government for what seems to be merely holding a press conference explaining their actions seems completely disproportionate relative to the seriousness of the conditions of Tibetans and Uyghurs under the Chinese state’s control.

Greece is not just considered the birthplace of democracy but its history is ingrained in the concept of self-determination. Many historians consider the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire to be one of the first manifestations of modern self-determination. UNPO is also proud to have the Greek minority in Albania as one of its founding members.

It thus reflects very badly on the Greek government that they decided to bow to Chinese Communist Party pressure instead of allowing manifestations of national identity and democratic rights. The activists were not demonstrating with intent to damage any property nor engage in violent conduct. The images seen of the arrests  seem disproportionate. UNPO stands in support of the activists who were still being detained after 48 hours and welcomes their release.