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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?"

Human Rights Watch Urges China to Release Tibetan Students

September 22, 2007

By VOA News
20 September 2007

A leading international human rights group is urging China to
immediately release seven Tibetan teenagers detained on suspicion of
writing pro-Tibetan independence slogans on buildings.

Human Rights Watch said Thursday that authorities detained the 14- and
15-year-old school boys about two weeks ago, around September 7 in
Gannan prefecture in Gansu province. The arrests were made a day after
graffiti appeared on the walls of the village police station and other

The watchdog agency says one 14-year-old detainee is reported to have
been badly beaten during or after the arrest and was bleeding profusely
when last seen by relatives.

The group also says authorities moved the students to a nearby town of
Xiahe on September 10, a few days after the arrest and has since denied
relatives visitation rights and even refused to confirm that the
students are still in custody.

The students are alleged to have written slogans calling for the return
of the Dalai Lama and a free Tibet.

China has called the Dalai Lama a "splittist" and accuses him of
secretly promoting separatism.

The Dalai Lama has been struggling since the late 1980s to negotiate an
autonomous status for Tibet in association with China.

Chinese troops took control of Tibet in 1950. The Dalai Lama and
thousands of his followers fled to India in 1959, during a failed revolt
against Chinese rule.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.


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