Pictures of the dead from Kirti monastery

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

The attached photos of dead Tibetans provide the most damning evidence seen so far that lethal force was used by Chinese security forces at protests staged by Tibetans in Aba town (Ngawa) in Sichuan province.

The photos, which clearly show gunshot wounds, were taken on Sunday night and Monday morning at Kirtii monastery. As Free Tibet Campaign reported on 16 March 2008 (release below) an eyewitness told Free Tibet Campaign's contact in Dharamsala that he had seen Chinese security forces fire into the crowd of Tibetan protesters and that he had seen 13 Tibetans killed as a result of the firing. Other eyewitnesses reported seeing 30 Tibetans shot dead.

These photos, together with the eyewitness statement, provide conclusive force that lethal force was used at Aba town by the Chinese security forces on 16 March 2008. The photos directly contradict recent denials to the press by Jampa Phuntsog (Chairman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region Govt) and China Premier Wen Jia Bao that Chinese security forces had not used lethal force.

The photos were taken long before the Chinese government's deadline of midnight Monday and prove that the use of lethal force has been in force long before the Chinese government's supposed deadline for protesters to turn themselves in before the use of force would be used.

Matt Whitticase of Free Tibet Campaign said: "These photos provide shocking proof of the brutality being exercised by Chinese forces in forcefully putting down Tibetan protests. It is not acceptable for national governments to call merely for restraint from the Chinese government. Government leaders must immediately condemn China's clear use of lethal force and demand that China's leaders stop their brutal crackdown on Tibetan protesters."

Release sent on 16 March:

3. Kirti Monastery, *Ngaba* County (Ch: Aba) Sichuan Province

Free Tibet Campaign's contact in Dharamsala has received by phone several eyewitness accounts to events in Ngaba County today.(Ch: Aba)

One eyewitness reported seeing Chinese security forces shooting dead thirteen Tibetans. One of the Tibetans was named as Lobsang Tashi. The eyewitness reported that the protest was started by three monks from Kirti monastery and was joined by hundreds of monks and lay people. The protest took place 2km from Kirti monastery in Ngawa County. The protestors called for the release of the Panchen Lama. Protestors demanded the release of two monks from Kirti monastery who got arrested yesterday. According to the eyewitness police shot tear gas into the crowd and beat many of the protestors. The police then shot live round of ammunition into the crowd. According to the eyewitness this led to the confirmed deaths of thirteen Tibetans. Many more Tibetans were injured. The eyewitness then reported that the protestors reacted angrily to the use of firearms and the deaths. The protestors burned down several police vehicles and the Public Security Bureau HQ.

Other eyewitnesses to the protest that have spoken by phone to our contact in Dharamsala are reporting that up to 30 Tibetans were killed when the armed police shot into the crowd.

Our contact in Dharamsala spoke to a monk who had returned to Kirti monastery after the protests to which he had been an eyewitness. In a telephone conversation at 3pm Beijing time the monk told our contact that he had seen 8 Tibetan bodies arrive at the monastery. Two were monks, one a lay female and five were lay people. The eyewitness told our contact that a further 2 bodies arrived at the monastery half an hour later. The bodies were thought to be those of students involved in the protest.

Click on the link below for pictures
Please note that these photographs are of a very graphic nature. Discretion is required.