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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Briefing Paper on the Peaceful Protests in Karze Tibet Autonomous Prefecture (TAP) Sichuan Province

July 10, 2011

Thursday, 7 July 2011
Overview

The current situation in Karze Tibet Autonomous Prefecture (TAP),
Sichuan Province, continues to be grim and tense.  Started on 6
June 2011, more and more peaceful protests - sloganeering,
distributing pamphlets and raising Tibetan national flag- continue
to be carried out by Tibetans from different walks of life in
Karze. They are raising their voices in demand for the "return of
His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet, "Independence for Tibet" and
"Freedom in Tibet".

Fear over the possibility of more peaceful protest coupled with two
politically sensitive anniversaries going on in China, a large
number of securities personnel have been deployed in the region.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), a
Dharamsala based NGO, reported deployment of thousands of troops to
suppress peaceful protesters and people are reportedly living in a
climate of fear.

As of 5 July 2011, the Dharamsala-based Central Tibetan
Administration (CTA) has identified more than 39 Tibetans arrested
in Karze.

1) Military build-up

In order to brutally suppress the peaceful protests, the Chinese
authorities have stepped up security measures in and around the
Karze region since 6 June 2011. According to a foreign tourist who
visited Karze recently said: "There are thousands of police and
army, in riot gear, in trucks patrolling the streets, and on foot
in formation patrolling the streets.  As well as many standing on
street corners, and many more in plain clothes". 1

The same source also reported that the number of security personnel
has doubled during his second visit to Karze region.

Photos showing presence of heavy security forces in the Karze
region during the holy Buddhist month of Saga Dawa (month of June)
are available at
http://www.tibet.net/en/index.php?id=2440&articletype=flash&rmenuid=
morenews&tab=1.

A Tibetan in contact with people living in Karze reported that "the
current security situation in Karze is extremely tense, with Karze
County town completely locked down by paramilitary forces who have
set up so many checkpoints - there's one at every road junction…" 2

2) Freedom of Speech and Expression

The Chinese constitution guarantees freedom of speech and
expression to its citizen. Under this right, citizens are free to
express their views and opinions through any medium they seem fit.
However the Chinese authorities do not respect this right in
practice.  Since 6 June 2011, the Chinese authorities imposed heavy
restriction on people's rights to freedom of speech and expression.

Tibetans were arrested on the charge of exercising their basic
rights to freedom of speech and expression through peaceful
protests.

3)  Restriction over Freedom of Movement

With the ongoing peaceful protests in Karze and the politically
significant 90th Anniversary of Communist China, Tibetan people's
freedom of movement is strictly restricted.

According to Radio Free Asia (RFA) the Chinese authorities in Karze
imposed strict restriction over the movement of Tibetans,
especially nuns and monks. Authorities have ordered the monks and
nuns in Karze not go out to the town without prior permission. Nuns
and monks need to take their identity cards while travelling.
Failure to do so often results in being arrested by the Chinese
police.

On 27 June 2011, two nuns of Lamdrak monastery - Chemi, 37 years-
old, and Choega - were arrested on their way to work at a Tibetan
clinic built by the Lamdrak Rinpoche, who had also built schools
for girls in Karze. The two nuns were arrested on the charge of
failing to produce their identity cards.3

It was also reported that those Tibetans who needed to visit the
hospital for medical check up should seek written permission from
the local authorities and must be accompanied by a government
official. Failure to conform to the diktat would result in arrest.

4) Arbitrary Arrest

The Chinese Constitution (article 37) guarantees rights against
arbitrary arrest and under this right, no citizen can be arrested
without a formal arrest warrant.  However, since 6 June 2011 more
than 39 Tibetans have been arrested arbitrarily.

These 39 Tibetans, mostly monks and nuns, were arrested on the
charge of exercising their fundamental freedom of speech and
expression.  The fate of these 39 Tibetans remains unknown as the
Chinese authorities refuse to disclose information on them and till
date no family members were allowed to visit them. 4

5) Brutal Treatment of Tibetans

The main demands of the current protesters in Karze region are
"Freedom for Tibet","Human Rights in Tibet" and" The Return of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama". Instead of addressing the legitimate
demands of the Tibetan people, the Chinese authorities are
suppressing them brutally.

From the 39 reported cases of arrest, in most of the cases the
peaceful protesters were subjected to severe beatings.  The Chinese
police used iron batons to beat them and had them forcibly taken in
police trucks.

Conclusion

It is clear that the human rights situation inside Tibet,
particularly in Karze region, is deteriorating amidst a dramatic
increase of Chinese repression and brutality.  With the kind of
repressive measures that are imposed by the Chinese authorities,
there is a possibility of more protests at any time and hence
arrest of many Tibetans in the Karze region.

1. http://www.tchrd.org/press/2011/pr20110629.html

2. http://www.savetibet.org/media-center/ict-news-reports/dozens-
tibetans-imprisoned-new-wave-kardze-demonstrations-protest-lhasa-
kardze-monk

3. http://www.rfa.org/tibetan/chediklaytsen/khamlaytsen/kham-
stringer/two-tibetan-nun-detained-in-karze-07012011101837.html

4.
http://tibet.net/en/index.php?id=2418&articletype=flash&rmenuid=more
news&tab=1#TabbedPanels  

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