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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."

Seven high school boys detained for pro-Tibet slogans

September 23, 2007

Saturday, Sep 22, 2007

Human Rights Watch called on China on Thursday to immediately release
seven Tibetan high school students it said had been detained on
suspicion of writing pro-Tibetan independence slogans.

The seven students studied at a village school in one of China's
official "Tibetan autonomous" areas in Gansu Province and were among
some 40 students detained by police on or around Sept. 7, the rights
group said.

The boys were alleged to have written slogans calling for the return of
the Dalai Lama and a free Tibet the previous day on the walls of the
police station and other buildings in Amchok Bora village, the watchdog

China took power of the Himalayan region in 1950 and has since refused
to allow the 71-year-old Dalai Lama -- revered as Tibetan Buddhism's
highest spiritual authority -- to return home.

While most of the students were released within 48 hours, officials in
Xiahe County had refused to reveal the location of the seven still
missing or even confirm that they were in custody, Human Rights Watch said.

"Arresting teenagers for a political crime shows just how little has
changed in Tibet," said Brad Adams, the group's Asia director.

"Beating up a child for a political crime shows just how far China has
to go before it creates the `harmonious society' China's leaders talk so
much about," he said.

The seven are all aged 14 or 15, according to the rights group.

One of the alleged detainees was reported to have been badly beaten
during or after his arrest, the New York-based watchdog said.

"To end this embarrassing and abhorrent episode, the Chinese government
should immediately release the boys, protect them and their parents from
further abuse and explain why they were treated so harshly," Adams said.

The group described the arrests as "the latest example of an
increasingly harsh response from Chinese authorities to the slightest
hints of dissent."

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