Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Olympic torch attendants revealed as Chinese 'paramilitaries'

The mysterious Chinese guards who provoked an outcry as they aggressively protected the Olympic torch this week have been revealed as a paramilitary spin-off from the country's army, according to reports.

Chinese state television has said that the squad – who wore distinctive blue tracksuits – were handpicked from the People's Armed Police (PAP).

The PAP, part of the the People's Liberation Army (PLA), is accused of suppressing recent protests in Tibet. The Free Tibet Campaign says it received eyewitness accounts connecting the PAP with brutality, including firing live ammunition into crowds of Tibetan protesters on 3 April in Grdze county in the Sichuan province.



Matt Whitticase, of the Free Tibet Campaign, said: "It beggars belief that personnel from the PAP were allowed on to the streets of London at all, let alone that they were allowed to push Metropolitan Police around. They come from the same unit that shot dead in cold blood a Tibetan womanon the Nangpa-la Pass."



At Westminster, the main opposition parties wrote to Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, registering their alarm over the presence of the Chinese guards.

Track the torch online

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