Chinese police threaten elderly Tibetans

25th November 2013

Tibetan families' 30 year struggle over land

Police threatened 16 Tibetan women in their 80s staging a month-long sit-in at a construction site in eastern Tibet, forcing them to call off their protest.

The protest was the latest development in a struggle with local authorities, which began nearly 30 years ago.

The local government seized farmlands belonging to 16 families in Ngawa County in June 1986 for construction of a meat factory, promising them that in return a member of each family would get a job in the factory.


However, the jobs did not appear and the families were only given a meagre sum of just over 10,000 Yuan (£1,000) in compensation.

The 16 families appealed to the local government to solve the issue in 1988 and 1990, but in vain.

Land stolen in Tibet

The elderly women who represent each of the families say they didn’t raise the issue in 2008 as they didn't want it to become politicised or to be viewed as a separatist action.

In 2008 there were widespread intense protests by Tibetans.

Tibetans are frequently moved from their land by authorities and it is a regular source of conflict in Tibet.

Tibetan land is then often taken over by Chinese companies.

Tibetan protest

The government of the county has now sold the meat factory for commercial re-development and it is being built on.

The 16 elderly women were protesting at the construction site from 17 September to 20 October, when the police dispersed them with threats of arrest.

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Protest in Tibet is met with threats and brutality. Call on world leaders to speak out for Tibet and break the silence.