Chinese security forces have detained more than 300 Tibetan monks at a besieged monastery in Sichuan, taking them away in buses and brutally beating local Tibetans who attempted to come to their rescue, exile Tibetan sources said.
Two of those attacked—an elderly man and woman—were killed, sources said.
The monks at Kirti monastery in the Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture had resisted a forced campaign of “political re-education” following the March 17 self-immolation death of a monk protesting Beijing’s rule in the area.
“On April 21, at about 9 p.m., armed security personnel and a special police unit were deployed at the monastery,” said Kanyag Tsering and Lobsang Yeshe, monks at Kirti monastery’s branch monastery in India, citing sources in the Ngaba region.
“They went to every room and detained more than 300 monks and put them into more than 10 large buses.”
Local Tibetans said they heard that the detained monks were then taken to locations in nearby Lunggu (in Chinese, Wenchuan), Maowun (in Chinese, Mao), and Tashiling (in Chinese, Li) counties.
When the monks were taken out, about 200 local Tibetans outside the monastery gates tried to stop the buses from leaving, Tsering and Yeshe said. Chinese armed police then attacked the crowd, beating some and gagging others who were crying out.
A 60-year-old man named Donkho from Upper Thawa village and a 65-year-old woman named Sherkyi from the Rakhotsang family of Nagtsangma in the Cha township were killed, and others suffered broken arms and legs in the attack, Tsering and Yeshe said.
The protesters were loaded onto trucks, of which two were driven to a nearby military camp and another two were driven to a cemetery. All who were elderly were released at 9 a.m. on Friday morning, while “a few” of the younger protesters were still being held, Tsering and Yeshe said.
An unnamed young woman of the Nagle Losang family has been missing since the police assault on the crowd, they added.
Attack was expected
The monks at Kirti had heard by midday on Thursday that removals were imminent, and had gathered together in a group, vowing not to allow anyone to be taken away, Tsering and Yeshe said.
A senior Chinese official ordered the monks back to their rooms at 8:30 p.m., denying that any removals were planned and warning them that they would be responsible for the consequences of any “confrontation” resulting from a refusal to disperse.
The monks returned to their rooms, and a Chinese special police unit then surrounded the residences and began the removals, Tsering and Yeshe said.
Phone lines in the area had been disabled beginning at about 4 p.m., sources said.
At about 5 p.m. on Friday, five large buses with obscured markings of the type used in the detentions on Thursday night arrived at the monastery, sparking concerns of further removals Friday night.
Attempts to reach local police and security officials for comment Friday afternoon were unsuccessful.Reported by Rigdhen Dolma for RFA’s Tibetan service. Translations by Rigdhen Dolma. Written in English by Richard Finney.