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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?"

Around 70 monks of Ramoche Temple detain in midnight raid, whereabouts still unknown

April 10, 2008

TCHRD
April 9, 2008

In contrary to what the Chinese authorities are proclaiming about the
calm and normalcy restored in Lhasa city, the reality in the area
underlines that severe restriction and mass detention are continuing
especially in monasteries which were proactive in the recent series of
demonstration in Lhasa and other parts of Eastern Tibet. In the latest
series of major clampdowns on monastic institutions, around 70 Tibetan
monks from Ramoche Temple were known to have been detained on the night
of 7 April 2008, according to confirmed information received by the
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

On 7 April 2008, around 70 monks from Ramoche Temple were detained by
the People's Armed Police (PAP) and Public Security Bureau (PSB)
officials during the midnight raid carried out in the monks' residences.
The detained monks were taken away to an unknown location, according to
reliable sources. At present only a few monks are left in the Ramoche
Temple, which previously housed around a hundred monks, with scores
detained and taken away in the midnight raid. There is no immediate
information on the condition and whereabouts of those detained. The
Chairman of the "Tibet Autonomous Region" government, Qiangba Puncog,
said at a press briefing of the State Council information office this
morning, that police have detained 953 suspects involved in the '14
March violence' in Lhasa.

Severe restrictions have been imposed on the movement of the monks of
Ramoche Temple since 14 March protest in Lhasa. Credible sources
confirmed a case of one monk, Thokmey, committing suicide in Ramoche
temple following massive crackdowns by the PAP and PSB on 22 March 2008.

A similar restriction was imposed on all the major monasteries of Tibet
including Drepung, Gaden and Sera, with all access to these monasteries
severely restricted with 24X7 monitoring by a heavy presence of PAP and
PSB officials since the demonstration broke out on 10 March in Lhasa and
other parts of Tibet.

As reported in China's official mouthpiece, Xinhua, on 1 April 2008, to
the question raised by one visiting foreign journalist on a
state-sponsored media tour on 27 March, Lhasa City Mayor, Duoji Cizhu,
defended the deployment of the PAP and PSB into three major monasteries
around Lhasa, by stating that the authorities had undertaken this
measure in order to investigate the suspects involved in the recent
'unrest' and to avoid further protest by the agitated monks.

On similar showing of official support, on 8 April 2008, Zhu Wei Qun,
Vice Minister of the United Work Front Department (UWFD) of the
Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee accompanied by Lobsang
Gyaltsen, the head of the "TAR" United Work Front Department paid a
visit to PAP and PSB personnel stationed at Gaden Monastery to boost
their morale and appreciate their good work. According to reliable
sources, all three major monasteries around Lhasa were virtually sealed
off with a heavy presence of PAP and PSB personnel.

TCHRD is concerned that under the pretext of restoring order, the
Chinese authorities have resorted to measures such as unnecessary and
excessive use of force, including lethal force, arbitrary detentions and
intimidation, which violate international human rights law and
standards. TCHRD believes that while such a response may quell protest
in the short term, it is highly concerned that such violations will only
stoke up further resentment, compromising any future effort to address
legitimate grievances held by many Tibetans over official government
policy in the region.

Contact Person:
Tashi Choephel (English)
Jampa Monlam (Tibetan and Chinese)
Tel: +91 1892 223363 / 229225
Email: tcjamatsang@tchrd.org / office@tchrd.org
Website: www.tchrd.org
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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