Mass arrests, propaganda and show trials over protests

7th February 2013

70 reported to be arrested in recent days

Following the harsh sentences given to eight Tibetans last week for "crimes" related to self-immolation protests, Chinese state media are reporting mass arrests in the Malho area of eastern Tibet.

No further details have yet been provided about those detained, but the local police chief has threatened to "exert more efforts to thoroughly investigate the cases and seriously punish those who incite innocent people to commit self-immolation".


The news reports attempt to portray immolations protests as orchestrated by "foreign" powers or acts of depressed individuals, and coincide with the broadcast of a propaganda programme on CCTV - Chinese state TV - pushing out the same message.

The programme has also been broadcast in English on CCTV's English language services and is reported to be due for broadcast on its other other foreign language platforms.

Public relations and human rights abuses

In a statement, Free Tibet said "China’s strategy is an ugly mixture of repression and PR and it won’t work. Protests of all kinds in Tibet are a response to the actions of the Chinese government and they will inevitably continue until China recognises that fact."

Take action

Contact your Chinese embassy to demand that China ends human rights abuses in Tibet and addresses the grievances of the Tibetan people.