Student protesters rushed to hospital in Tibet
More than 20 Tibetan students have been hospitalised and their school placed under military lockdown following a protest in Tibet today.
According to an eyewitness, around 1,000 students, mostly from the Chabcha Sorig Lobling School in Chabcha County, North-eastern Tibet (1), gathered this morning for a demonstration.
It is believed that the protest was in response to a book published earlier in the year by the Chinese government that may have been recently given to the students. The book is critical of self-immolation protests and also belittles the use of the Tibetan language.
The students gathered at 5.40am (local time) before setting off for the town around 6am. The students circled the town calling for freedom and equality.
The protest was peaceful until around 9am, at which point armed security forces arrived.
It is unclear what happened next and Free Tibet has been unable to confirm the exact sequence of events.
However, an eyewitness confirms that many students were injured and taken to hospital. Around 20 were hospitalised and it is believed that four required emergency treatment.
The Chabcha Sorig Lobling School is currently under complete lockdown and Chinese security forces have sealed the area.
Parents and local Tibetans outside the school have been barred from getting in touch with any students inside the school. There are disruptions to communications into the region.
Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden said:
“Although we cannot confirm whether security forces beat students or not, it would appear that the change in Chinese leadership has not led to a change in the brutality which passes for government in Tibet.”
Free Tibet has photographs of injured students (3).
Notes to editors
1. Chinese: Gonghe, Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province
Free Tibet is an international campaigning organisation that stands for the right of Tibetans to determine their own future. We campaign for an end to the Chinese occupation of Tibet and for the fundamental human rights of Tibetans to be respected.
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