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New images of Labrang students' protest

May 8, 2009

ICT report, May 7, 2009

New images of a protest by Tibetan schoolchildren in Labrang (Chinese:
Xiahe) on April 24 have been obtained from Tibet and were broadcast
yesterday on Kunleng, the Voice of America's Tibetan language program
(http://www.savetibet.org/media-center/ict-news-reports/images-protest-tibetan-children-and-students-obtained-tibet).

The images confirm that several hundred students from Labrang Tibetan
Middle School, including several children who appear to be as young as
ten or 11, were involved in the protest against continued vilification
by the authorities of the Dalai Lama. One image shows a group of young
girls, who appear to be aged around 12, many in traditional Tibetan
dress, leading a group of protestors. The incident occurred in Labrang,
Sangchu (Chinese: Xiahe) county, Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Tibetan
Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu province, the Tibetan area of Amdo. Other
images depict children carrying what appear to be home made white
banners. Adults or older students can also be seen, and monks (probably
from Labrang monastery) are visible in the distance, although they do
not appear to be part of the protest.

The protests depict the moments before armed police moved to apprehend
the students. In a further image, army trucks can be seen in the
background. The number of demonstrators and bold nature of the protest
clearly took the authorities by surprise despite the tight security in
the area. While the students detained are now believed to have been
released, some after being beaten, local Tibetans fear further
retaliation by the authorities.

Some images have been withheld as they reveal identities of individual
Tibetans. Since the current wave of protests began in Tibet on March 10,
2008, the authorities have adopted increasingly sophisticated measures
to block information flow from Tibet. A few months after the protests
began last year, the authorities conveyed warnings of penalties for
'spreading rumors', presaging a new wave of detentions and signaling a
more rigorous and hard-line approach to Beijing's cover-up of the
crackdown in Tibetan areas. The taking and distribution of images of the
protest clearly involved significant risk.
Press contact:?Kate Saunders?Communications Director, ICT?Tel: +44 7947
138612?email: press@savetibet.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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