Five Tibetans Reported Dead in Police Custody

Following reports last week that police fired on a group of Tibetan protesters in restive Ganzi Prefecture, Sichuan Province, five injured protesters have reportedly died in police custody. From the New York Times:

[…T]he Tibetan government in exile, in Dharamsala, India, said on Wednesday that five men had died in police custody after being detained following a protest last week in which the police shot and used tear gas on an unarmed crowd in Ganzi Prefecture in Sichuan. Initially, reports from the exiled government and other groups said two men had died.

[…] One of the detainees, Lo Palsang, killed himself in detention in Luoxu Township, where two dozen Tibetans were held, the report said. Additionally, “an unidentified 22-year-old Tibetan youth succumbed to injuries sustained during the police firing,” according to the report. Tsering Wangchuk, an officer in Dharamsala with the administration, said staff members there had spoken to people in the area who verified its accounts.

Later, the exiled Tibetan administration said it had confirmed the deaths of three more injured villagers who had been detained, echoing earlier reports from Radio Free Asia, a news service based in Washington, and Free Tibet, a group based in London. Free Tibet said on its website that the three additional victims were all relatives of the arrested village leader.

“It is not known when they died, but their bodies were handed over to their families on Monday,” said the report from the exiled administration, which, like the other reports, cited unnamed sources. [Source]

Ganzi Prefecture, known in Tibetan as Garzê or Kardze, has been a hotbed of protest against Beijing’s rule in Tibetan regions of China.