- Title: VARIOUS: China makes arrests in Tibet crackdown
- Date: 21st March 2008
- Summary: (BN08) KATHMANDU, NEPAL (MARCH 20, 2008) (REUTERS) RIOT POLICE BEATING MONKS POLICE DRAGGING MONKS TO POLICE VEHICLES WOMAN SHOUTING AND SAYING "PLEASE, PLEASE" / DOORS OF POLICE VEHICLE BEING CLOSED POLICE ON THE BACK OF A TRUCK WITH ARRESTED MONKS WOMAN BEING ARRESTED POLICE PUSHING MONKS UP TO TRUCK OLD MAN PLEADING WITH POLICE RIOT POLICE / ARRESTED SHOWING PEACE SIGN FROM TRUCK
- Reuters ID: LVA9144T96436PX0LUPLVVU6ADUU
- Duration: 00:00:54
- Aspect Ratio:
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,International Relations
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: Tibetan TV footage shows arrested Tibetans in custody and signing confessions while video and still images of recent days show protests spreading out to neighbouring provinces, and Nepal, where riot police break up protests and arrest at least 20 monks and Tibetans.
Tibet authorities said on Thursday (March 20) they had arrested dozens of people involved in a wave of anti-Chinese violence that has swept the mountain region and prompted Beijing to pour in troops to crush further unrest.
The prosecutor's office in Tibet's capital, Lhasa, said 24 people faced charges of "endangering national security as well as beating, smashing, looting, arson and other grave crimes" in last Friday's (March 14) riots, the Tibet Daily reported.
They were the first arrests since rioting erupted across the remote region. Some outside groups say hundreds of Tibetans may have already been detained, and the China News Service reported Lhasa has broadcast wanted pictures of more suspects.
Tibetan TV broadcast footage of Tibetans in custody and showed the arrested protesters signing confessions, flanked by riot police and police officers.
The official Xinhua news agency reported that so far more than 170 people involved in the riots had given themselves up.
According to Xinhua most of the people who surrendered were ordinary members of the public who "did not understand the true situation".
Xinhua added that "some were incited by a small number of lawbreakers, and some were forced by them to take part".
Video footage from Chinese state television CCTV showed the destruction the protests in Lhasa left behind, with shops reduced to rubble and rubbish covering streets. Residents could be seen out in the streets, inspecting damage.
But while Tibet appears calmer, at least 20 Tibetan protesters, including monks, were held in Nepal as they tried to organise anti-China protests and march towards the United Nations office in the capital, witnesses said.
Riot police carrying bamboo batons and plastic shields chased and grabbed small groups of protesters and pushed them into waiting vehicles.
Police could be seen beating the crowd and dragging and pushing them into the vehicles.
"Stop killings in Tibet," the protesters shouted many pleading with the police not to take them in.
Protesters made "peace" signs with their fingers after they were arrested and put in police vehicles.
The United Nations said this week it was very concerned over the excessive use of force by police against Tibetan protesters in Nepal and urged the government to uphold the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.
New York-based Human Rights Watch, in a statement, asked the government not to use force against peaceful protesters.
Nepal, home to more than 20,000 exiled Tibetans since they fled Chinese rule after a failed uprising in 1959, has had almost daily pro-Tibet protests since March 10.
Tibetan regions in China were also swept up in the protests, with video and still images from Tibet's neighbouring provinces showing riots in Gansu and Sichuan provinces that took place immediately after the violent protests in Tibet.
Violence including fighting, smashing and ransacking were witnessed in Gansu and Sichuan on Saturday (March 15) and Sunday (March 16) respectively, China's state television CCTV reported on Thursday.
On March 16, a mob looted shops and attacked government buildings in Aba Tibetan Prefecture in northwest Sichuan province, CCTV said.
Earlier, in Xiahe and neighbouring counties in the southern part of northwest China's Gansu province hundreds of Tibetans attacked schools, hospitals, police stations and government buildings while shouting pro-independence slogans and waving flags of the Tibetan government-in-exile, CCTV added.
Eight policemen and three government staff were injured, CCTV said. It didn't report casualties of the Tibetans who participated in the riots.
Local authorities said the riots were linked with recent violence in Lhasa, and accused the Dalai Lama and "his clique" of masterminding the riots.
The self-proclaimed Tibetan government-in-exile denied the Chinese government's blame for planning the riots.
Reports said hundreds of monks and lay Tibetan people held protests around the Labrang Monastery in Xiahe county, which later turned into violent.
The area was sealed off by armed policemen, journalists were banned from entering the area.
CCTV said armed policemen practised "extreme restraint" in appeasing the protests.
China's response to the past week's violence has sparked international criticism and has clouded preparations for the Beijing Olympics which the hosts hope will be the country's "coming-out party" as a world power.
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