Five campaigners who protested at Everest base camp against the Chinese occupation of Tibet said they were subject to intimidation after being arrested.

The five were detained on the northern, Tibetan side of Everest after they unfurled a banner which read: One World, One Dream, Free Tibet 2008.

The protesters returned to the Nepal capital Kathmandu on Friday after being held by Chinese guards for two days. They said they were forced to sleep on freezing concrete floors and were denied food and water for 14 hours.

The five Americans, including one Tibetan-American, were subject to interrogation in an attempt to find out if any locals had been involved in the protest, which took place near to where a Chinese team was practising for an Olympic torch run for the 2008 Beijing games. The motto for the games is One World, One Dream.

Tibet has been occupied since the People’s Liberation Army moved into the country in 1950.