March 16, 2008 / 6:46 PM / 11 years ago

France asks China to respect human rights in Tibet

PARIS (Reuters) - France called on China to respect human rights on Sunday as scuffles broke out in front of the country’s embassy in Paris during a demonstration against China’s crackdown on protests in Tibet.

A statement from the Foreign Ministry said France was monitoring the situation in Tibet “with close attention with our European partners”.

“With the approach of the Olympic Games, which ought to be a great show of fraternity, France would like to draw the attention of the Chinese authorities to the importance of respecting human rights,” said the statement.

Earlier in the day, around 500 pro-Tibetan supporters had gathered by the Chinese embassy on Paris’s chic avenue George V.

French riot police used tear gas to disperse members of the crowd, but there were no serious injuries. Some 10 protesters were taken away.

Protesters held up banners with slogans such as “I Am With The Dalai Lama” and “China’s Lying, Tibetans Are Dying.”

At one point, a demonstrator climbed onto the first floor balcony of the embassy to take down the Chinese flag and replace it with the Tibetan one.

Reporting by Alain Ricci, Brigitte Malho, Sudip Kar-Gupta

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