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China: 'Outrageous' police violence against Tibetan protesters condemned

The Chinese authorities must end the excessive use of force against peaceful Tibetan protesters, Amnesty International said today, after police fired on and injured dozens of demonstrators.

Reports emerged today of the police opening fire on Tibetan protesters in the town of Diriu in the Tibet Autonomous Region, injuring at least 60 people, some seriously. It is unclear if the police used live ammunition or tear gas in their response, which occurred on Monday.

There have been reports that some of those seriously injured were denied medical care for days, with at least one of the injured protestors still in a very critical condition.

Corinna-Barbara Francis, Amnesty International’s China Researcher, said:

“It is outrageous for the police to start firing on a peaceful gathering. This latest incident shows that the Chinese authorities have done nothing to rein in excessive use of force by their security forces or to increase respect for Tibetans’ right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

“Across the Tibetan region the situation remains tense, and the Chinese authorities are doing nothing to improve it by continuing to deny Tibetans their most basic human rights. The daily harassment and humiliating treatment have to end.”

The protesters had gathered to demand the release of a local Tibetan who had been detained on Friday 29 September after speaking out against the authorities’ efforts to force local families and monasteries to fly the Chinese flag. Monday’s incident marks the second time in recent months that the security forces have fired on a peaceful gathering of Tibetans. On 6 July, in Tawu, Sichuan province, at least ten Tibetans who had gathered to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s birthday were injured.

Since the Tibetan mass protests of 2008 against Chinese rule, the Chinese authorities have stepped up repression in Tibetan areas and imposed intrusive, pervasive military and security controls on the local population. The authorities also continue to subject Tibetans to humiliating ‘patriotic education’, which forces them to denounce the Dalai Lama and express support for the Chinese Communist Party.

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