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Troops open fire on Tibetans in escalating crisis in Nagchu

October 8, 2013

  • At least 60 Tibetans were injured, some seriously, on October 6 in Driru after Chinese troops opened fire on Tibetans calling for the release of a local Tibetan who had objected to orders from a ‘patriotic education’ work team prior to China’s National Day on October 1.
  • The incident followed a crackdown on September 29 in Driru (Chinese: Biru), County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region, after a failed attempt by the authorities to compel families and monasteries in the area to raise Chinese national flags to mark the founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. More than 40 people were detained and many more seriously injured as a result of severe beatings from security forces.
  • Tsering Gyaltsen, who is in his twenties, was named by sources as being one of those seriously injured after torture in detention after police apparently singled him out as a ‘ringleader’ of the peaceful expressions of dissent. Despite his serious condition, he was prevented from receiving medical treatment for several days. He is now in hospital in Lhasa in critical condition. Other Tibetans injured by beatings or torture were unable to travel for medical treatment due to restrictions on movement in the area.
  • Militarisation has been dramatically stepped up in the Driru area after resistance to work teams sent as part of an intensified drive across the Tibet Autonomous Region to enforce loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party. Tibetans in Driru are still in danger as the authorities enforce an even more intense lockdown than before, cutting communications with the area. A notice has been disseminated in Lhasa to warn people from the county not to return there at present, according to exile Tibetan sources.
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