Burma protest: Robertson arrested climbing Eiffel Tower
On 12/11 the English climber Mike Robertson was arrested while climbing the Eiffel Tower in Paris to raise public awareness about the current political situation in Burma and the responsibility of the French oil company Total.
Last Monday Mike Robertson, the British climber, photographer and recent Banff guidebook award winner for Deep Water, attempted to climb the Eiffel Tower in protest against the French oil company Total's involvement with the Burmese regime.
As www.ukclimbing.com reports, Mike was arrested by the French police at circa 219 m, circa 100m short of the top of the symbol of Paris. "I wore a shirt with 'Total leave Burma' on it... I tied a red scarf - the colour of the Monk's attire in Burma - on the lower arch, at about 230ft... I was arrested at around 720ft, where I felt it prudent to 'come quietly', especially in view of a possible jail term"
Mike Robertson was handcuffed and taken to questioning, and was released after circa 3 hours. Although he may risk up to 5 years in jail, Mike explained "The situation in Burma is dire; the beatings and deaths continue. Aung San Suu Kyi, is still under house arrest, and there's currently a news blackout, mainly due to the cutting of all communications and phone lines by the Generals. I climbed the Eiffel Tower to help draw more attention to the atrocities and the pro-democracy movement in Burma."
As the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports, arrests against democratic activists continue, despite the presence of a UN special envoy for Human Rights, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro. All of this continues while the main stream national and international media interest for the plight of Myanmar slowly decreases. A country in which, according to Burma's democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi "TOTAL is the biggest supporter of the military regime in Burma." www.burmacampaign.org.uk