By Tendar Tsering
A Tibetan lying down on the ground surrounded by armed Chinese security pesonnel in Serthar, eastern Tibet on January 24, 2012.
DHARAMSHALA, February 3: More disturbing images of Chinese brutality in Tibet have reached exile.
The photos are from the January 24 protests that engulfed Serthar in eastern Tibet where a large crowd of Tibetans gathered in the central town and started raising slogans calling for Tibet’s independence.
Over 600 Chinese security personnel arrived at the scene of the protests and began firing indiscriminately at the crowd. Sources in exile have said that at least five Tibetans suffered fatal bullet injuries while over 40 Tibetans were seriously injured.
The photos that reached Phayul this morning from two different sources show Chinese police mercilessly beating an unarmed Tibetan protester with batons while he is lying face down on the street.
Another image shows two Chinese security personnel dragging away a Tibetan from his leg and arm down the street.
“We know that this harrowing scene playing out in the images from Serthar is being repeated across Tibet as Tibetans are attacked and harassed by Chinese authorities for simply advocating their basic
rights and freedom,” the Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet, Tenzin Dorjee said.
In another photo, dozens of Chinese police are seen running towards a Tibetan man standing on the street with leaflets spread all around him.
The UK based Free Tibet in a release today said the photos underlined the brutal nature of Chinese occupation in Tibet.
"Despite China’s efforts to control information, these pictures show the determination of Tibetans to expose to the world what China doesn’t want us to see," Free Tibet said.
“Can the international community continue to turn a blind eye when the ongoing brutality of the occupation is clear for all to see?”
Following the widespread protests that engulfed the entire Tibetan plateau in 2008, the Tibetan region of Serthar has been a centre of Tibetan resistance.
Last year, on October 1, China's National Day, Tibetans in Serthar unfurled a large painted cloth portrait of the Dalai Lama and raised the Tibetan national flag on the roof of a three-storey building in the
town center. Protests broke out when Chinese authorities removed the portrait and flag.
Preceding the January 24 mass demonstrations, Tibetans in rural villages in Serthar carried out protests on January 18 and 22 while a larger demonstration was also reported on January 23 in Serthar town where a banner reading: "We protest against failed Chinese policies in Tibet" was unfurled.
This is the second occasion when rare photos of the recent protests in Tibet have come out to exile. Yesterday, Phayul released a number of photos of Tibetans killed and injured with bullet marks after Chinese security personnel fired indiscriminately on Tibetan protesters in Drango on January 23.
The entire region continues to remain under heavy military surveillance with phone lines and internet connections cut off.