2,000 Tibetans protest closing down of civil society group in Karze County

TibetanReview.net: The Chinese authorities in Karze County of Sichuan Province on Apr 14 ordered the closing down of a civil society group formed in 2008 by the 13 nomadic villages of Da-thama Township there while arresting around 250 Tibetans, provoking a protest by more than 2,000 Tibetans the next day. Around 300 police and paramilitary People’s Armed Police Force personnel visited the 13 villages to carry out the closing down order while making the arrests, reported Dharamsala-based Tibetan centre for Human Rights and Democracy Apr 23.

The group, known as “Da-yul Thundil Tsogpa” (Dayul Friendship and Unity Association), having representatives from all the 13 villages, helped to resolve disputes between local Tibetans and cement unity among the Tibetan people of the area. However, the Chinese authorities suspected it to be a political grouping and called the association illegal. Those arrested included the association’s head Dhontoh.

When Tibetans objected to the closing down order, the paramilitary police began beating them instantly, leading to more than 10 of them being injured and hospitalized.

The main demand of the more than 2,000 Tibetan protesters 15 was for the release of the 250. All but 33 of them were eventually released.

The Chinese authorities have cut off all communication links to the area, making obtaining of further information very difficult.

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