International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge on Tuesday condemned violent protests that target the Beijing Olympic torch relay, saying violence is by no means acceptable.
"The IOC definitely wants and wishes for the Olympic flame to be respected, because it is a very important symbol that unites people," Rogge told Chinese reporters.
"We respect people who want to protest. This is the freedom of speech, freedom of expression. However, if you want to protest, it has to be peaceful," added the IOC chief.
Despite disruptions by a few Tibetan separatists and their supporters during the London and Paris legs of the Olympic torch relay, there will be no change in the itinerary which includes carrying the flame to the highest peak on Earth, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) said.
The flame was lit in Olympia, Greece, on March 24 and is being relayed through 21 cities outside the Chinese mainland before being carried into the opening ceremony on August 8.