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About 100 protesters lay on the University of Otago Union Building lawn just after noon yesterday.
The number of students taking part indicated the number of people that Students for a Free Tibet members believe have been killed during recent civil unrest in Tibet.
Event co-ordinator Yeshe Dawa (21) said seeing 100 people - all holding ‘‘One dead in Tibet'' placards - lying in one place might give passers-by an idea of the reality of the unrest for the Tibetan people.
The protest would also remind people in New Zealand not to take civil liberties for granted, she said.
Ms Dawa said protesters also believed about several hundred had been arrested since March 10, when peaceful protests marking the 50th anniversary of a failed uprising in Tibet were suppressed by police.
Dunedin city councillor Fliss Butcher attended the demonstration to ‘‘show people in Tibet we are supporting and thinking of them''.
A Vigil for Tibetans, organised by the Tibetan Solidarity Network, was held outside Parliament in Wellington yesterday.