Saturday, September 27, 2008
Chinese armed police used spades and meat choppers to beat Tibetan monks
Free Tibet Campaign yesterday (1) reported the beating of 50 Tibetan monks by Chinese armed police at Kirti monastery on 24 September. Kirti monastery is in Ngaba county (Ch: Aba) in the Amdo region of Tibet (Ch: Sichuan province).
Free Tibet Campaign has now received further information from an extremely reliable source on what happened at Kirti monastery.
The monk who was initially beaten on the evening of 24 September has been named as Jimpa Ladja. Jimpa Ladja had left the monastery buildings to go to the toilet but had not gone beyond the outer perimeter of the monastery. (Kirti monastery is surrounded by Chinese armed police. The police are stationed at nine separate checkpoints around the perimeter of the monastery. There are between ten and fifteen police at each checkpoint and each checkpoint is surrounded by a fence. Beyond the checkpoints a separate line has been drawn around the perimeter of the monastery. Monks are forbidden to move beyond the perimeter without permission.)
According to the source, Jimpa Ladja was stopped by armed police at one of the checkpoints while he was walking back to the monastery. The police accused Ladja of walking beyond the perimeter and beat him badly, despite Ladja’s persistent denials that he had crossed the outer perimeter.
Following the beating Ladja was able to walk to a restaurant which is owned by Kirti monastery. Approximately 50 monks were eating at the restaurant when Ladja arrived. Ladja was bleeding and told the monks that he had been beaten, even though he had not crossed the monastery perimeter. According to the source, two of the monks at the restaurant immediately went to the police station situated to the north of Kirti to demand to know why Ladja had been beaten. Chinese armed personnel at the station threatened the monks, firing live rounds into the sky and into the ground in front of the monks. The monks ran back to the restaurant, chased by Chinese armed police who demanded that Ladja leave the restaurant immediately.
According to the source, two separate monks at the restaurant protested to the armed police that it was unreasonable to punish monks for leaving the monastery to go to the toilet. The monks asked the police to call their superiors to settle the problem. One of the police made a call but soon after the call was made two truckloads of armed police arrived at the monastery. The police were armed with rifles, spades and meat choppers.
When the police arrived the monks lay on the ground, and even removed their garments to show the police that they were not armed, according to the source. Despite the absence of violence from the monks, the police beat the monks severely, using the butts of their rifles, spades and even the meat choppers. Five of the 50 monks had to be hospitalized due to the severity of their injuries. The hospitalized monks are: Lama Sotse; Rabgye; Tsang Chopel; Labchoek and Lophel. According to the source, Rabgye and Tsang Chopel had suffered particularly severe injuries after being attacked with spades and meat choppers. The injured monks were taken to the civil hospital in Ngaba town. On 26 September only Lama Sotse remained in the hospital.
The whereabouts of the other four monks who were hospitalized are presently unknown.
Free Tibet Campaign spokesperson, Matt Whitticase, said:
“The Chinese government yesterday issued a White Paper (2) claiming that Tibetan religious beliefs are protected by law. Such claims are shameful in the light of the credible reports we have received of this latest act of brutality against Tibetan monks.
“Such abuses by the Chinese authorities are routine in Tibet and this dire situation is exacerbated by the refusal of the authorities to allow reporters unrestricted access to Tibet. The international community must exert far greater pressure than it has so far on China to open up Tibet to the scrutiny of the media and independent agencies such as the UN and the Red Cross.”
Notes to editor: