Amidst an upsurge in nationalism brought on by the British Olympic team's continuing success media criticism of China's on going crack down on Tibetan protesters has faded from TV screens and front pages. However, Tibetans in the UK have continued their attempts to keep the issue of Chinese repression in what Beijing calls the Tibetan Autonomous Region in the public eye.
Yesterday Tibetan and British demonstrators marched from the Chinese embassy in London to Downing Street, the official residence of the British prime minister, Gordon Brown, where they handed in a petition calling upon Brown to urge Beijing to halt its bloody crack down inside Tibet and find a peaceful solution to the issue of the country's future.
In Bristol, south west England protestors held their own mock Olympics in the centre of the city in order to bring attention to a side of modern China, the communist regime would rather the world forgot at a time when the country is hosting the Games.
Tibetan forced to flee their country told of their struggle to protets and the reprisals they risk from the Chinese police for even the most beneign of protest gestures such as putting up posters. Tashi, who fled to neighbouring Nepal in 2007 and then England told of his own personal story when he narrowly escaped arrest for protesting the Chinese occupation of his country. His friend, whowever, was not so lucky and was caught and has not been heard from since.
Nor is this an isolated incident, according to Amnesty International more than 1000 protestors arrested during protests earlier this year in Lhasa and other parts of Tibet have not been accounted for. Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific director sam Zarifi was reported as saying that the situation in Tibet was "a dire picture of arbitrary detentions and abuse of detainees".
Despite making commitments to the IOC when winning the Olympic Games in 2001 to improve its human rights record China has continued to harrass, arrest and detain critics of its regime. Most recently, Independent Television News reporter John Ray was detained and reportedly physically abused by Chinese police for trying to cover a Free Tibet protest near the Olympic Bird's Nest stadium. Similarly, Tibetans protesting in Bristol spoke of China failing to live up to their pre - Olympic commitments concerning press freedom in Tibet itself, saying that the level of repression had increased in the run up to the Games and that contact with the country had been made extremely difficult for those living outside Tibet.