Tibetan nomads wounded after police open fire

Yak belonging to Tibetans in Sertar County
Yak belonging to Tibetans in Sertar County
1st April 2016

Two people are in a serious condition after multiple bullet wounds

Police in Sertar County in Kardze opened fire on a group of Tibetan nomads on 30 March, severely injuring several people and leaving two requiring specialist treatment for their severe injuries.

The shootings resulted from a dispute that started when 30 yaks belonging to Tibetan nomads in Sertar County went missing and a week later were discovered loaded onto the back of a truck. An argument ensued between the nomads and the people driving the truck, ending with the nomads taking back the livestock and also the truck they were being transported in.

On the evening of 30 March, the truck drivers returned with a group of county police. Police forced the owners to return the truck and also the yaks, threatening to shoot the nomads if the yaks and truck were not immediately handed over. The nomads gave them the truck but refused to give up the livestock, which they tried to explain belonged to them. The police responded by pointing their guns at the Tibetan nomads and opening fire, leaving some of them with critical injuries.

Several Tibetans were severely injured by the gunfire, with one receiving ten gunshot wounds. He was one of two people transferred to a hospital in Chengdu after the staff at County People's Hospital in Kardze declared that their injuries were too severe for the hospital to be able to treat.

Prisoners released

Free Tibet has learned of two more prisoners being released last month. These releases follow those of Ngodup Phuntsok, Sonam Gonpo and Joleb Jigme.

Samdrup, a monk who was arrested in November 2012 after a self-immolation protest, was released on 7 March.Sandrup was 16 at the time of his protest on 7 November 2012, when, along with two other teenage monks, he set himself on fire outside a police station in Ngaba the day before the Chinese Communist Party’s 18th National Congress. The youngets of the three monks, Dorjee, died from his wounds.

Plain-clothed local police brought Sandrup home on the afternoon of 7 March. They did so in secret, ensuring that family members and local Tibetans could not gather to prepare a formal welcome for him.

Samdrup's body is covered in scars and burns including on his face, neck and hands. His vision has also been affected which might have been caused by lack of light for a long time during his confinement in a dark cell.


Kedup Gyatso

Monk released after eight years in prison

The following day Kedrup Gyatso, a monk from Tsang Monastery in Gepa Sumdo County, Tsolho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, was released from prison.  He was arrested along with 80 monks from Tsang Monastery in 2008 for taking part in the mass protests in Tibet that year.

He was sentenced to 10 years for being one of the leaders of the protests but had his term reduced by two years for working hard in prison.Kedrup Gyatso arrived home at around midnight on 8 March with three policemen. Eyewitnesses reported that his face and eyes were damaged as a result of beatings and torture. Authorities made Kedrup Gyatso rest during his final month in prison because of his poor health.

Kedrup Gyatso is not allowed to return to his monastery, so is instead living in his home in Tsekhok County in Malho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, where police come every few days to monitor him.

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