Another week of protests in Tibet

Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Tibetans in Rebkong march in protest against Chinese police brutality

Tensions rise as Tibetans are beaten

Protests against the Chinese occupation of Tibet have continued with more self-immolations and public demonstrations.

Two men set themselves on fire in Ngaba Town on Monday. Former monk Tashi, 21, and his former classmate Lungtok, 20, became the fourth and fifth Tibetans to set themselves on fire in the space of one week.

Lungtok is reported to have died at the scene. Security forces extinguished the flames on Tashi before violently beating him and forcibly removing him. He later died.

Tibetans beaten

Local Tibetans, enraged at the sight of Tashi being beaten, began to protest. Security reinforcements arrived and began to beat the demonstrators using spiked batons.

There are reports that one person was beaten to death. We cannot confirm this but are aware of someone receiving a very serious head injury whose current condition is unknown.

Second major protest

Protesting at Rebkong County PSB crop compress.jpgThe following day a large protest involving up to 1,000 Tibetans took place in Rongwo Town, Rebkong, which is about a day’s journey from Ngaba.

This protest was sparked by police brutality. A car carrying four young Tibetans was forcibly stopped in a nearby village in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Two of the occupants were dragged from the vehicle, beaten on the street and threatened with guns.

Upon hearing what had happened, around 400 men from the village travelled to the county offices of the Public Security Bureau in Rongwo Town calling for an end to police brutality.

Tibetan solidarity

They marched around the town, demonstrating in front of local government offices, and were joined in solidarity by Rongwo residents and people from nearby villages.

At its peak, the number of people protesting had swelled to around 1,000.

Rongwo Town was the scene for some of the largest protests against Chinese occupation seen in decades earlier this year.

Nearly 50 Tibetans have now set themselves on fire in Tibet. Read the full list.