Footage Of Tibetans' Protests Circulates Online
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
A few days ago on this program, we met an expert on Tibet who said that China has been blocking phone calls and text messages from that part of China. Apparently, the government hasn't entirely succeeded, which is how we know this: A Tibetan monastery in northwestern China has been sealed off after an anti-government riot broke out over the weekend. As many as 100 monks were arrested during that protest. NPR's Louisa Lim reports.
(Soundbite of recorded protest)
LOUISA LIM: Footage shot on a mobile phone over the weekend has been posted on the Internet. It shows a group of Tibetans, including monks, shouting as they surround Ragya Police Station. This was the first major protest since last year's unrest. It was sparked by news that a monk named Tashi Sangpo, detained for raising the outlawed Tibetan national flag, had tried to commit suicide by jumping into the Machu River. Xinhua news agencies say this was a rumor. But one exiled Tibetan-rights organization said the monk had been subject to harsh beatings and interrogation.
(Soundbite of recorded beating by Chinese security forces)
LIM: Also circulating online is new footage of last year's crackdown, released by the Tibetan government in exile. It shows Chinese security forces using sticks to beat Tibetans who are lying on the ground, their hands tied behind their backs. This is a time of high tension, just four days before China marks what it's calling serf liberation day in Tibet.
Louisa Lim, NPR News, Shanghai.
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