Ahead of 10 March Uprising anniversary, Tibetans pay a high price for protesting
The repercussions for Tibetans who protest against the Chinese state are becoming increasingly severe, including:
• Use of lethal force against Tibetan protesters
At least five Tibetans have been killed when secrity forces opened fire on protesters in three seaparate incidents in January 2012, in Drango , Serthar and Zamthang. Urgen, who was killed in Zamthang, was only 19 years old.
• Detentions and disappearances
Over 100 Tibetans from Drango have been detained following protests in the town on 23 January. Their whereabouts and wellbeing are unknown and Free Tibet has grave concerns for their wellbeing because of the widespread and routine use of torture in Tibet.
Over 100 people were also disappeared on 23-4 January following a peaceful protest in Meruma Township, near Ngaba.
• Use of force during arrest
Tibetans have been shot dead and others injured by state security personnel during efforts to arrest those suspected of participating in protests in at least two separate incidents.
• The search for protesters
Footage from CCTV cameras, erected widely to monitor the Tibetan population, is often used to identify Tibetans suspected of participating in protests. Substantial rewards, for example 10,000-20,000 RMB, have been offered for information on the whereabouts of those suspected of participating in protests
• Intimidation and punishment of the community, including beatings, house-to-house searches, enforcement of patriotic re-education campaigns
There is an increased military presence in places where self-immolations and protests have taken place. Residents of Ngaba report people are being beaten on the streets and in their homes for no other apparent reason other than that they are Tibetan. Patriotic re-education campaigns have been enforced in monasteries and, more recently, villages suspected of harbouring protesters.
Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden commented:
“China is getting increasingly nervous about Tibetan protests and responding with violence and intimidation in efforts to stamp out dissent and enforce loyalty to the state.
More and more Tibetans are becoming politicised as a result - students are joining protests, a mother of four and a teenage boy self-immolated just this week. China must give Tibetans the freedom they are demanding.”
Notes to Editors
Free Tibet is an international campaigning organisation that stands for the right of Tibetans to determine their own future. We campaign for an end to the Chinese occupation of Tibet and for the fundamental human rights of Tibetans to be respected.
For further information and interviews please contact Free Tibet’s Director Stephanie Brigden:
M: +44 7971 479 515
T: +44 207 324 4605