Olympic Organizers: Protesters Must Have Permission

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Protesters at the Beijing Olympics will have to apply for permission to demonstrate five days in advance and may not harm national interests, Beijing's Olympic organizers said.

Chinese citizens will be required to submit a written application to police, while foreigners must file with customs officials, said a statement posted Saturday on the official Olympics news Web site.

China, which has been accused of repressing the voices of opponents, has said it will allow preapproved demonstrations at three parks in the capital.

Click here to watch the leaked opening ceremony video.

But Liu Shaowu, security chief for the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee, warned in the statement that "citizens must respect and not harm others' freedoms and rights and must not harm national, social and collective interests."

Police will inform applicants whether they have received approval at least two days before the intended protest, he said.

China has always been wary of protests of any kind. But the government agreed to allow protests during the Olympics at the three parks, which are several miles from the main Olympic stadium.

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Tightened visa checks have prevented or deterred foreign groups such as the Committee to Protect Journalists from coming to Beijing, although Dream for Darfur said its visa application was pending.

Overseas broadcasters, such as America's NBC which paid hundreds of millions of dollars to air the games, are still wrangling with organizers over restrictions on live coverage around the city.