Crackdown in Tibet
Chinese authorities have conducted a crackdown in the Tibetan capital Lhasa, according to unconfirmed reports that are still to be independently verified.
An official Chinese language news site has reported that 435 people were interrogated in Lhasa as part of the crackdown and that possibly up to 12 have been detained. Free Tibet has been unable to obtain further details.
It is likely that the crackdown is part of a recently launched “strike-hard” campaign, aimed at intimidating Tibetan residents of Lhasa in the run up to the highly sensitive March 10 anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising against Chinese rule when more than 80,000 Tibetan men, women and children were killed by Chinese armed forces. Two years ago protests against Chinese rule in Tibet broke out in Lhasa on March 10 which subsequently spread right across the Tibetan Plateau.
Last year China launched a “strike-hard” campaign in the run up to the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Uprising. According to The Guardian newspaper, citing official state media sources, approximately 6,000 people were interrogated during last year’s “strike-hard” campaign, and a further 81 people detained for a range of alleged offences including the downloading of “reactionary music” in two cases.
“Strike-hard” campaigns have been implemented periodically in China since 1983, particularly in the run-up to major events such as the 2008 Beijing Olympics, or sensitive anniversaries such as the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre of protesters by Chinese armed troops.
Times report: Hundreds questioned in Tibet crackdown
Read more (in Chinese) at ChinaTibetNews
Read more about the 2009 crackdown in this Guardian report