50 Kurds Charged over London Ferris Wheel Occupation

Published December 21st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Fifty Kurdish demonstrators who seized control of the London Eye, a massive Ferris wheel in central London, were charged Thursday with threatening to cause criminal damage, police said. 

The group, who were protesting at a crackdown on prisoners in Turkey, gave themselves up to police Wednesday evening. 

A further 12 Kurds arrested inside the European Commission building in central London Wednesday have been charged with trespassing on diplomatic premises, a police spokesman said.  

One protestor on the London Eye, communicating by mobile phone, had claimed that one man in each of the two hijacked gondolas had doused himself in petrol and was prepared to set himself on fire. 

However, police said afterwards they found no evidence of petrol. 

Both sets of demonstrators aimed to highlight the Turkish government's crackdown on hunger-striking prisoners Tuesday in which 20 prisoners and two soldiers are reported to have died. 

The Ferris wheel, operated by airline British Airways, is a hugely popular tourist attraction, which affords panoramic views over London -- LONDON (AFP) 



© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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