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China: Restrain Forces From Violently Attacking Protesters in Tibet

March 15, 2008

Human Rights Watch

(New York, March 15, 2008) – Chinese security forces should stop
violent attacks on protesters in Tibet and allow the United Nations to
conduct an independent probe into alleged abuses, Human Rights Watch
said today.

To quell the protests that continued in Lhasa and Sangchu County,
Chinese security forces responded by beating protesters, firing live
ammunition, surrounding Ganden, Drepung and Sera monasteries, and
cutting phone lines into the monasteries, according to media reports
and sources in the capital, Lhasa. There are unconfirmed reports that
some protesters have been shot. The city is now reported to be under
curfew and there is a heavy presence of security forces on the
streets.

"The Chinese government should exercise restraint in responding to the
protests and should work toward addressing the grievances of the
protesters," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "It
should invite the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights to Tibet so that it can begin a thorough and independent
investigation into alleged abuses."

The Chinese government has long banned independent human rights
observers from Tibet and responds harshly to Tibetans sending
information out of the country regarding the human rights situation.
Human Rights Watch called on the Chinese government to respect the
rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, and to
ensure proper treatment of all protesters and others detained in
recent days.
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