Chinese authorities have arrested a hundred Tibetans from Drango, eastern Tibet on suspicion of their participation in the January 23 mass protests in the region.
Hundreds of Tibetans had come out on the streets on the first day of Chinese new year, calling for Tibet’s freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet, following which the police indiscriminately fired on the unarmed demonstrators.
According to sources, the protests flared after local Chinese Public Security Bureau officials began to arbitrarily arrest Tibetans on suspicion of their involvement in the appearance of leaflets and posters around the town following the wave of self-immolations in the region. The posters had warned of more Tibetan self-immolations if the Chinese government did not listen to Tibetan concerns.
Chinese security personnel are reportedly arresting the Tibetans with the aid of photos and videos taken during the protests.
“We will arrest even if 10,000 people rise up,” US based radio service RFA quoted an unnamed Tibetan as being told by Chinese security officials.
The arrested Tibetans have reportedly been taken to the Ra Nga Kha prison in Bamei, located between Dartsedo [in Chinese, Kangding] and the Tawu [in Chinese, Daofu].
Exile sources say that the entire Drango region remains cut-off from outside world as phone lines and internet connections continue to be inactive.
The protests in Drango were followed by mass uprisings in Serthar and Ngaba. Chinese police again fired indiscriminately on the peaceful protesters, killing and injuring scores of Tibetans.
Beijing has since intensified the security clampdown in the region by deploying a large number of additional armed Chinese security forces.
While the exile Tibetan administration is calling for global protests and sustained campaigns in solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet, governments and rights groups have condemned China for its violent retaliation against the genuine grievances of the Tibetans.
Human Rights in China in a release last week said escalating repression and failed official policy were the root causes of the recent surge in protests and urged Beijing to address them.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International called on China to avoid using excessive force in response to protests while expressing fear of further violence and bloodshed in Tibet.
Since Tapey’s self-immolation in 2009, 16 Tibetans have set themselves on fire calling for the return of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.