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Protests against China's crackdown erupt in eastern Tibet PDF Print E-mail
[15 August 2012] Tibetans have defiantly taken to the streets in recent days in eastern Tibet to protest against the Chinese authorities crackdown and repressive policies. Up to 500 Tibetans demonstrated in Rebkong against police brutality and 300 monks protested in Kanlho when they were barred from paying their respects to a self-immolation victim.

Rebkong protest against police brutality
Protestors in RebkongOn 14 August, approximately 500 Tibetans took part in a protest in Rebkong (Chinese: Tongren) county, Malho prefecture, Amdo (now incorporated into the Chinese province of Qinghai). The protest (pictured right) was to highlight the ill-treatment of Tibetans by Chinese police. The protestors marched to the local Public Security Bureau office (pictured below) carrying banners in Tibetan and Chinese saying, "The government's public security police beat the people" and District authorities are torturing the people.

The protest was sparked by an incident the day before when four Tibetans were confronted by Chinese police who were described by witnesses as "drunk". The police interrogated the four men before severely beating them. One Tibetan is reported to be in critical condition.

Protestors in RebkongIt is not known if the four Tibetans were detained or if there have been any arrests following the subsequent protest.

Rebkong has witnessed numerous protests against China's repressive policies, including two-self immolations this year, Jamyang Palden on 14 March and
Sonam Dhargye on 17 March. Following the funeral of Sonam Dhargye, which was attended by 8000 people, many decided to march to the town centre calling for freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama. Earlier in March thousands of students from the region took to the streets calling for language rights and the withdrawal of troops from Tibet.
Further reading: Phayul I RFA

Monks protest following self-immolation
ImageOn 8 August, about 300 monks held a prayer protest after they were barred from travelling to pay their respects to the family of Dolkar Tso (pictured right) who died after self-immolating the previous day. The monks, from Labrang Tashikhyil monastery in Kanlho (Ch: Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture), Amdo (now incorporated into the Chinese province of Gansu), were halted on their journey by Chinese officials. They were told their vehicles would be confiscated and were threatened with further punishment if they continued their journey.

The monks initially continued on foot but after staff from the monastery's management committee asked them to stop, the monks sat in the street and began offering prayers for Dolkar Tso. Other monks and lay Tibetans from the area are believed to have joined the prayer protest. It is not known how the protest ended or if there were any arrests.

Monks at Tsoe monastery, where Dolkar Tso self-immolated, have also been involved in protests. On the day of Dolkar's self-immolation Chinese security personnel detained three monks, one of whom was later released. The following day the security personnel returned to arrest a further 17 monks, however crowds of monks and laypeople gathered to prevent the arrests and demand the release of the monks detained earlier. It is not yet known how long the protests continued or if the arrests were carried out.
Further reading: RFA I Phayul
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(Note: The Chinese authorities often cut communication lines following an incident to prevent the flow of information, so precise details, such as the number of detentions, can be difficult to assess.)

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