Video of Chinese intimidation in Tibet

Friday, 9 November 2012

New video reveals an intimidating show of force by China in the middle of the Tibetan capital, Lhasa (1). Chinese state television (2) broadcast a programme yesterday (8 November) which showed scores of Chinese military personnel watching the opening day of the 18th Party Congress being broadcast in the shadow of Potala Palace – the former residence of the Dalai Lama.

Tibetans were prevented from entering Potala Square, normally a public area. Unconfirmed reports also suggest that Tibetans in Lhasa were arrested as the Congress began, as a preventative measure, and that restrictions of movement have been placed on the ‘old residential area’ of Lhasa – where the majority of Tibetans live.

The video clip features an interview with a member of the military who outlines his loyalty to the Party and claims he will protect the Tibetan people. Another interviewee said the broadcast of Hu Jintao’s opening day speech made him realise the value of the Chinese army.

Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden said:

“This demonstrates how uneasy the Chinese state is at this time of transition with protests against Chinese occupation sweeping across Tibet. Broadcasting footage of Chinese military personnel so close to a location of such importance to Tibetans is clearly intended to intimidate.”

Last weekend footage of security forces on training exercises were broadcast across the region. The footage featured announcements that they are ready to do whatever it takes to crush those who are destroying stability in the region to ensure that the 18th Party Congress is not disrupted.

Ends:

Notes to editors

1.Footage of Chinese military personnel http: //youtu.be/0WAxGcWcUGg

2.The footage was broadcast on XZTV (Xizang TV, Xizang is the Chinese name for what China refer to as the Tibetan Autonomous Region).
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.

2.Free Tibet press releases detailing recent protests: http://freetibet.org/news-media/press-releases

3.Full list of Tibetan self-immolations: http://www.freetibet.org/news-media/na/full-list-self-immolations-tibet

For interviews and further information please contact Free Tibet’s Director Stephanie Brigden:

E: stephanie@freetibet.org
M: +44 7951 479 515
S: stephaniefreetibet