According to a very reliable source who lives in Ngaba county, up to 50 monks from Kirti monastery were beaten by armed police on 24 September. Four monks were so badly injured that they had to be hospitalised, according to the source.
Ngaba county has been under tight control by the authorities since March 16 2008 when, according to eyewitnesses, armed police fired into a crowd of protesting Tibetans, killing up to 30 Tibetans.
According to the source, trouble flared again at Kirti monastery (situated about 2km from Ngaba town) yesterday following the severe beating of one of Kirti’s monks by armed police. The monk had left the monastery earlier that day, having obtained the relevant permission from the monastery authorities. As the monk returned to the monastery a short time before dark, he was stopped by Chinese armed police. According to the source, the returning monk was beaten so badly by the armed police that he was bleeding when he managed to return to the monastery.
Monks asked the bleeding monk what had happened; the monk told them he had been beaten by armed police.
Fifty monks from Kirti monastery immediately went to a police station that is situated in the immediate vicinity of the monastery. The monks argued with the police, according to the source, and demanded the police explain the reason for the severe beating of the monk. Police told the protesting monks that they would call local authorities to discuss the matter.
The source reported that shortly after the call was made, two truckloads of armed police arrived at the police station. The police immediately started to beat the monks at the police station, even though the monks had refrained from becoming violent on the arrival of the police, according to the source. Four of the monks were beaten so badly that they had to be hospitalised. Free Tibet Campaign has not been able to confirm where the monks are hospitalised. The four who were hospitalised are high-ranking monks at Kirti monastery and, according to the source, one of them could be the abbot of Kirti, although this could not be confirmed immediately.
Communication with monks at the monastery has been impossible today and it has not been possible to confirm the name of the monk who was initially beaten, nor the names of the four monks that were hospitalised later.
Tension between Tibetans and the local authorities have been high since March 16. On August 10 Free Tibet Campaign reported that troop numbers in the town had risen from around 2000 to around 10,000 since the beginning of August. Free Tibet Campaign also reported credible eyewitness reports that two Tibetan women had been wounded in Ngaba town by gunfire thought to have come from armed Chinese troops on August 9.
Matt Whitticase of Free Tibet Campaign said: “Reports of terrible repression continue to filter out of Tibet, despite the Chinese government’s strenuous attempts to cover up its abuses with its communication blackoutt. The Chinese government must launch an immediate investigation into the beatings by armed police at Kirti and must also immediately confirm the whereabouts of the monks that were hospitalised yesterday.”