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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."

Tibetan young man dies from injuries suffered in jail

January 29, 2009

Pema Tsepak was arrested for calling for a free Tibet, and then
hospitalized with internal injuries. Meanwhile, police arrest 81
Tibetans for possessing "reactionary music." Refugees in exile: the
authorities want to prevent protests for the March anniversaries.

Lhasa (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The police have arrested at least 81 people
in Tibet, accused of acting against security in the region. Two of them
had recorded "reactionary music" on their cell phones. Meanwhile,
Tibetans are denouncing that on January 23, Pema Tsepak died from
injuries he "sustained" while he was under arrest.

On January 20, Pema (in the photo), together with Thinley Ngodrub and
his brother Thargyal, in the county of Dzogang, prefecture of Chamdo,
carried a banner reading "independence for Tibet," distributed fliers,
and chanted slogans. The police arrested them. Pema was then
hospitalized with severe injuries to his intestines and kidneys, and
died in the local hospital.

On January 24, 51 people were arrested for unspecified crimes; on the
25th another 30 were arrested for robbery, prostitution, and theft. At
least two of them have been accused of possessing "reactionary music,"
which in general are songs praising the Dalai Lama.

Since January 18, the police in Lhasa have been carrying out a
"crackdown against crime," raiding homes, hotels, rented rooms, internet
cafés and bars, "checking" about 6,000 people, according to state media.

The group International Campaign for Tibet denounces that this operation
"appears to be intended to intimidate Tibetans still further," in order
to prevent possible protests and commemorations of the Chinese
repressions on March 10, 1959 (when the Dalai Lama was forced into
exile) and on March 14, 2008, when the armed forces violently cut off
the protests of the Tibetans. For Beijing, it is "normal" to arrest
people believed to be subversive before major events, in order to
prevent public protests.

In December, there were 59 "official" arrests of people accused of
making subversive statements and downloading reactionary music.
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