Chinese authorities in Qinghai province have thrown eight Tibetans in jail in connection with a clash with police after a Tibetan motorcyclist was knocked down and killed by a Chinese truck driver, according to sources.
The eight were among 40 initially detained over the July 25 clash triggered by a dispute about compensation for the family of the deceased motorcyclist, Soebey, in Darlag (in Chinese, Dari) county in Golog (Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, the sources said.
“Among those who were detained, eight of them have been placed in Darlag county prison and another four at another facility for reeducation program,” a Tibetan in the area told RFA’s Tibetan Service. The others have been freed.
The eight, who had been “severely beaten” during the detention, could receive sentences that could include virtual house arrest, he said.
“When their relatives went to see them, they were shocked to learn that the Tibetans have been severely beaten under detention,” he said.
Failure to pay full compensation
The clash with police two days after the accident erupted after the truck driver reneged on a promise to pay compensation of 400,000 yuan (U.S. $65,000) to the victim Soebey’s family.
Relatives and friends of Soebey said the driver was convicted of manslaughter and ordered to pay the compensation but he only paid one-eighth of the amount and police let the defendant off scot free.
Authorities have stepped up security in Darlag county following the clash.
“Since the clash between police and Tibetans, the presence of armed police and paramilitary personnel has increased in Darlag county and the movements of Tibetans have been restricted,” a local source said. “There is tension in the area.”
Sporadic demonstrations challenging Chinese rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008.
Some 131 Tibetans to date have set themselves ablaze in self-immolation protests to oppose Beijing’s rule and call for the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Reported by Kunsang Tenzin for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Parameswaran Ponnudurai.