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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

China Detains Tibetan Boys Over Graffiti

September 21, 2007

BEIJING, Sep 20, 2007 (Reuters) — Seven teenage Tibetan boys have been
detained in northwest China after graffiti calling for the Dalai Lama's
return was found scribbled on walls, a human rights watchdog said on

The Chinese government has been obsessed with maintaining stability in
Tibet and four Chinese provinces with Tibetan populations since the
Buddhist spiritual leader fled his mountainous homeland in 1959 after a
failed uprising against Communist rule.

China on Thursday again branded the Dalai Lama a "splittist".

"We can see that he is not purely a religious figure, he is a political
exile involved in activities aimed at splitting the motherland," Foreign
Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a news conference.

Human Rights Watch called for the immediate release of the boys, aged
between 14 and 15, who were detained in Gannan prefecture in Gansu
province around Sept. 7, a day after graffiti appeared on the walls of
the village police station and school.

One detainee, aged 14, is reported to have been badly beaten during or
after the arrest and is said to have been bleeding badly when seen by
relatives, Human Rights Watch said in an e-mailed statement. His
identity was not known.

The boys were moved to Xiahe (Labrang) county on Sept. 10 and their
current whereabouts were unknown, the group said. All seven come from
nomad families and were studying at a secondary school in Amchok Bora

A county government official, reached by telephone, denied knowledge of
the detentions.

Police Refuse to allow beaten boy to go to hospital

Human Rights Watch said police had refused to allow relatives to move
the injured boy to a hospital unless they returned him within two days
and paid 5,000 yuan ($600) in advance, which the family was unable to do.

Dozens of students were initially detained on the same day, but all
except the seven teenagers were released within two days. School staff
were also questioned.

It was the second such incident in the village since August when the
words "Free Tibet" were written on walls in the school basketball court,
the group said. Some of the seven detained were among those questioned
at the time.

In Ganzi in the southwestern province of Sichuan, Tibetan villager
Runggye Adak, 53, was charged with subversion after he addressed a crowd
gathered for a Tibetan horse-racing event in August in support of the
Dalai Lama's return.

His speech prompted clashes between authorities and villagers calling
for his release. The International Campaign for Tibet said three of his
nephews had been detained after calling for his release. It posted
photos taken by a tourist showing riot police in the area dispersing crowds.

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