Tibetans continue to publicly protest against China’s repressive policies despite tightened security and the risk of severe punishment. Following a series of protests around China’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Tibet Autonomous Region, at least three more Tibetans have been detained for publicly calling for freedom for Tibet.
The three latest arrests, which took place on 10 and 13 September in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) town, Amdo (now incorporated into China’s Sichuan province), bring the total number of arrests for public protests to eight in recent weeks. (Click here to read about the five previous arrests.)
The protests have taken place around the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region which the Chinese government celebrated on 8 September. The celebrations were accompanied by a tightening of security in Tibetan regions in an effort to prevent public demonstrations.
On the morning of 10 September, Adrak (pictured right), a 21 year-old monk from Kirti monastery, walked the streets of Ngaba town, shouting slogans such as “freedom in Tibet” and “long live Dalai Lama”. He was quickly set upon by police in full riot gear, who beat him as they took him into custody.
Reports suggest that Tibetan onlookers joined his protest. A source quoted by Radio Free Asia said, “local Tibetans who witnessed the scene raised cries in his support” and when they intervened were beaten and arrested by both uniformed and plain clothes police officers. It is unknown how many Tibetan bystanders were taken into custody with Adrak.
Adrak, also known as Lobsang Drakpa, is originally from Soruma Township in Ngaba county. His current whereabouts and condition are not known.
In the evening of 10 September, another Kirti monastery monk also undertook a solo protest in Ngaba. At around 6pm, Lobsang (pictured right, full name not known), aged 22, called for “freedom in Tibet” and for the long life of the Dalai Lama as he walked through the town. He was immediately arrested by police officers who were on patrol.
Sources indicate that Tibetans demonstrated against Lobsang’s arrest at the local police station.
Lobsang is from Chuklay Gampa town in Ngaba county. His current whereabouts and condition are not known.
On 13 September, 22 year-old Tibetan female Dekyi Dolma publicly protested in Ngaba town, walking along the street calling for an end to oppressive Chinese policies. The exact wording of her slogans is not known, however sources say that she undertook the protest despite knowing there was a large presence of Chinese security in the area.
According to a source quoted by Phayul, “There were many Tibetans nearby during her protest who expressed their support and anger over the police for manhandling a peaceful protestor.”
Since the protests on 10 September, security in Ngaba has intensified. Internet access in the Ngaba region is reported to have been disabled and armed police have been deployed to monitor activities in the town.
Tibet Society: Spate of arrests in Tibet as China celebrates 50th anniversary of TAR (11 September)