More than 1,000 arrested as China cracks down on rare protests in Tibet

Chinese authorities arrested more than 1,000 Tibetans in one day in a sweeping crackdown after unprecedented mass protests erupted nearly two weeks ago.

Hundreds of monks and local residents took to the streets to protest at government plans to demolish at least two villages and six monasteries, displacing thousands of Tibetans, in order to construct a hydroelectric dam.

Chinese police responded to protesters with tasers, water cannon and pepper spray, arresting at least 100 people on Thursday, rights groups said. 

Then, on Friday, authorities arrested more than 1,000 Tibetans in Derge, a major centre for Tibetan culture and history, and also where the dam is due to be built.

Short video clips have emerged of Chinese police forcibly restraining and knocking down Tibetan Buddhist monks in dark red robes.

Chinese government censors, however, have quickly scrubbed mentions of the protests and ensuing crackdown within China itself.

Local residents have reportedly had their phones confiscated, and key search terms such as “Derge dam protests” have been blocked on Chinese internet search engines.

Such public demonstrations are very rare in China – strict government surveillance both physically and digitally makes it difficult for groups to organise, and doing so carries a great risk of torture, arrest, and possibly death.

The protests in Derge are unprecedented, and could be the largest demonstrations since mass rallies rocked China in late 2022 when people peacefully took to the streets to rally against three years of tight Covid restrictions.

“The events in Derge are an example of Beijing’s destructive policies in Tibet,” said Kai Müller, managing director of the International Campaign for Tibet, in a statement. “The Chinese regime tramples on the …read more

Source:: News Wire