About a dozen Tibetans were seriously injured when they came under attack by Chinese security forces as they tried to defend a Tibetan truck driver questioned at a checkpoint in western China’s Sichuan province, sources said.
The driver, who had been transporting building materials to a local monastery, was stopped on Monday at a checkpoint outside Benyul village in Dzoege (in Chinese, Ruo’ergai) county in the Ngaba (Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
When police asked him to show his permit allowing him to carry the materials, the two heads of Benyul village and other villagers—all of them Tibetans—went to his assistance and vouched for his authority to do the work, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Suddenly, more police arrived on the scene and attacked the Tibetans who were present,” he said, adding, “Several were injured, and one was so badly hurt that he had to be taken to [the provincial capital] Chengdu for serious medical attention.”
The Benyul village chiefs were also seriously injured, with the 65-year-old elder of the two sent to the Dzoege county hospital, he said.
“Emergency personnel treated him for the severe beating he had received from the Chinese police.”
Separately, Tibetan writer Woeser confirmed the attack on the Benyul villagers, writing in her blog that police on July 7 had “refused passage to a Tibetan truck bearing building materials for a [Buddhist] stupa,” or religious monument.
“Village heads, elders, and women went to ask that the truck be released, and were beaten by the police,” said Woeser, who is being held under house arrest at her residence in Beijing during a visit to the Chinese capital this week by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Over ten people were hospitalized, and one person was sent to Chengdu in critical condition,” Woeser said.
Sporadic demonstrations challenging Chinese rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008, with 131 Tibetans to date setting themselves ablaze to oppose Beijing’s rule and call for the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Reported by Gaitho for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee and Di Hoa Le. Written in English by Richard Finney.