Dozens of people protesting the imprisonment of a Buddhist monk in Yajiang, Sichuan were arrested today. VOA reports:
China has reportedly increased security in parts of Sichuan, where protests have been taking place since December 5. The exact number of people detained is unclear. Estimates range from 60 to more than 150.
Members of the Tibetan community living in the area have been staging protests and hunger strikes to ask for the retrial of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, who is imprisoned in a monastery in the area.
Tenzin Delek was sentenced to death in 2002. His sentence was commuted to life in prison in 2005.
See also a report from CTV:
Armed police and troops have been stationed in front of many buildings in Yajiang since Saturday, said a woman at the Yajiang supermarket who only gave her surname, Yu.
Dozens of security forces patrolled the streets and checkpoints were set up to monitor people’s comings and goings, Yu said, adding she was told by others that Tibetan monks and residents staged a protest in recent days.
The accounts corroborate details provided by a Beijing-based Tibetan who has friends living in Yajiang. The woman who did not want to be named said local residents told her 60 to 70 people were detained during the protests. Local police either denied or declined comment on any arrests.
The Beijing woman said the protesting Tibetans were calling for a retrial for Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, a Tibetan monk who was sentenced to death in 2002 for involvement in bombings that killed one person and whose sentence has since been commuted to life in prison.