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Tibet group urges world leaders to raise crackdown

August 8, 2008

August 5, 2008

BEIJING, Aug 5 (Reuters) - China's crackdown on Tibet has deepened
since rioting in the region last March and world leaders attending
the Beijing Olympics should raise concerns with China, a group
affiliated with the exiled Dalai Lama said on Tuesday.

In its first detailed analysis of protests in March that spread
across the Tibetan plateau, triggering a harsh crackdown, the
International Campaign for Tibet said conditions in the Chinese-ruled
region belied the image Beijing is trying to project for the Olympics
which start on Friday.

"In order to hide its violent repression in Tibet, particularly as it
seeks to project an image of stability and unity in the build-up to
the Olympics, China has sealed off virtually the entire plateau --
despite promising increasing openness prior to the Games," said the report.

"Chinese authorities have taken wide-ranging measures to impose an
information blackout to hide the repression in Tibet as part of their
attempts to present an image of 'unity' in the PRC in the buildup to
08/08/08," it said, referring to China by its official name, the
People's Republic of China, and Friday's opening ceremony. Eight is
an auspicious number for Chinese.

The show of unity included the use of Tibetan performers in the
Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing, it said.

The Washington- and London-based ICT said hundreds of Tibetans
remained in custody and about 100 were killed in the regional
capital, Lhasa, during the initial March crackdown and 40 more were
killed in ethnic Tibetan areas of China.

U.S. President George W. Bush and other world leaders attending the
Olympics should "publicly express concern in Beijing about the
crackdown in Tibet and the suppression of freedoms that led to the
spring uprising", it said.

"The Chinese leadership must also be pressed for a full accounting of
the more than 1,000 Tibetans whose status following the spring
demonstrations in Tibet is unknown," said the 148-page analysis of
the crackdown.

Following warnings by Chinese security officials of reprisals after
the Games, "Tibetans fear the crackdown could worsen still further
after the Olympics, once the global focus is no longer on China," it said.

In a sign China was taking no chances with security ahead of the
Games, authorities in Tibet held held "anti-terror" exercises in
recent days, the state-run Tibet Daily reported.

The drills were held around the railway station and airport of Lhasa,
the focus of the March protests, the report said.

(Reporting by Paul Eckert; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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