Police Fire on Tibetan Protesters in Sichuan

Police Fire on Tibetan Protesters in Sichuan

At the New York Times, Edward Wang cites coverage from U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia and advocacy group International Campaign for Tibet to report on a standoff between police and Tibetan protesters in Ganzi Prefecture, Sichuan Province on Tuesday. Locals had gathered to protest the alleged detention of a village leader who expressed support for a traditional horse festival gathering, and at least ten protesters were reportedly injured by police fire:

Chinese police officers opened fire on Tibetan protesters this week in a Tibetan area of southwest China, injuring at least 10 people, according to reports late Wednesday by the International Campaign for Tibet, an advocacy group, and Radio Free Asia, which is financed by the United States government.

The shootings took place on Tuesday after Tibetans had gathered to protest the detention the previous day of a respected village leader, known as Wangdak, who had insisted to local officials that Tibetans be allowed to hold a traditional prayer ceremony before a horse festival. [Source]

Coverage from Reuters provides context on the Tibet situation, and more details on protesters injuries, as reported by the ICT:

Human rights activists say China tramples on religious freedom and culture in Tibet, which it has ruled with an iron fist since People’s Liberation Army troops “peacefully liberated” the region in 1950.

China rejects such criticism, saying its rule ended serfdom and brought development to a backward, poverty-stricken region. Tibet remains tightly controlled and foreign journalists are largely banned from visiting, making it very difficult to verify independently such reports of unrest.

[…] Ganzi has seen some of the most violent clashes between Tibetans and Chinese authorities. According to the ICT, two Tibetans were shot in the head and at least eight others seriously wounded after police opened fire on unarmed Tibetans who had gathered to mark the Dalai Lama’s birthday last year. [Source]

For more on Tibet, see all prior CDT coverage. Also read about public safety concerns about new security measures that have newly armed some officers in China following an upsurge of violence in Xinjiang.


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