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Five Swiss arrested in Moscow

A photographer was arrested by Russian anti-riot police along with the pro-Tibet protestors

(Keystone)

Police in Moscow have arrested five Swiss nationals protesting against Beijing's candidacy for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. The arrests come ahead of Friday's meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to decide on the host city.

The arrests took place on Wednesday after Russian riot police broke up a protest by eight Tibetan activists, which was led by Yangzom Brauen from Switzerland. The protestors were demonstrating against Beijing's bid to host the 2008 Games. The other candidate cities are Paris, Toronto, Istanbul and Osaka.

Brauen, the leader of the Tibetan Youth Association in Europe, was among eight activists - including two Tibetans and an American journalist - who were arrested after unfurling a banner, which pictured five bullet holes in place of the Olympic logo.

Brauen said Beijing could not host the Olympics because China is violating human rights in Tibet.

The Swiss are taking a particularly keen interest in the 112th session of the IOC in Moscow, because on Monday, July 16, the committee is deciding whether to make a former Swiss president, Adolf Ogi, an IOC member. Ogi, who retired from Swiss politics at the end of last year, is currently a UN special envoy.

Also on Monday, the IOC will choose a successor to its long-standing president, Juan Antonio Samaranch.

Five candidates are in running to succeed Samaranch, who is celebrating his 81st birthday on July 17. He took over the presidency exactly 21 years ago.

swissinfo with agencies

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