Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Police get extra powers for torch relay

Police in Canberra have been given extra powers to search people and seize items during the Olympic torch relay next week.

The ACT Government has made declarations under major events security laws, designed to prevent dangerous items from being brought into the torch relay area.

Police will have greater authority to search people and to seize items, including eggs, paint bombs, fire extinguishers and flares.

Meanwhile the head of the Canberra Torch Relay Committee, Ted Quinlan, says Chinese torch attendants could be arrested if they lay a hand on people during the relay.

"The Chinese authorities, from my negotiations with them ... [are] fairly clear on that," he said.

"The final question will be are the people who arrive here with the flame clear also, and we'll be making sure they are."

Yesterday the head of security for the Canberra leg of the Olympic torch relay moved to clear up confusion over the role Chinese military officials will play.

Deputy president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Kevan Gosper said the Chinese will accompany the torch but will only be called on in an emergency.

But ACT deputy chief police officer Shane Connolly said Chinese authorities will not be used for security under any circumstances.


Amnesty International has published their annual death penalty count and China remains the top executioner in the world. April 16 2008

China 470+
Iran 317+
Saudi Arabia 143+
Pakistan 135+
USA 42
Iraq 33+
Vietnam 25+
Yemen 16 +
Afghanistan 15
Libya 9+
Japan 9
Syria 7+
Sudan 7+
Bangladesh 6
Somalia 5+
Equatorial Guinea 3
Singapore 2

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