Chinese forces open fire on Tibetan prayer gathering

9th July 2013

Tibetan monk shot in the head

A Tibetan monk was shot in the head and at least six others received gunshot wounds when Chinese security forces opened fire on a crowd in Tawu county, Eastern Tibet on 6 July.

Several hundred Tibetans, including monks and nuns, were gathered at the sacred Machen Pomra mountain to offer prayers to mark the 78th birthday of the Dalai Lama.

Security forces prevented the Tibetans from reaching the top. A number of them went to another part of the mountain to offer prayers.

Chinese brutality

At some point, security forces fired at the unarmed crowd.

Tashi Sonam, a monk from Nyatso monastery was shot in the head and is currently in a critical condition at a hospital in Chengdu.

Tear gas and rubber bullets were also fired at the crowd, injuring several others.

Arrest of Tibetans

Among the injured was Jangchup Dorjee (pictured), a monk and brother of Palden Choetso, a nun who set herself on fire in November 2011.

On the night of 6 July, 17 people were reportedly arrested. The abbot of Nyatso monastery and other senior monks went to the detention centre around 11pm (local time) to appeal for the release of the individuals who had been detained.

It seems that the authorities released those who had been arrested.

Previous mass shooting in Tibet

The last reported mass shooting in Tibet took place last January.

Chinese forces opened fire on unarmed protesters in Drango, killing at least two and injuring more than 30 others.

The Machen Pomra offering of prayers at to mark the Dalai Lama's birthday is an annual event which has attracted the interest of the occupying Chinese forces in recent years.

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