Reports from eyewitnesses are continuing to fill in the details of an incident which left at least two Tibetans dead and seven injured on 30 September 2006. A group of 70 to 80 Tibetan men, women, and children, were attempting to cross the Nangpa La pass from China into Nepal when they encountered a large group of armed Chinese soldiers on border patrol. Several climbers, including a British policeman, have then confirmed that shots rung out without warning, killing somewhere between 2 and 8 members of the group. Eyewitnesses report one of the victims as a 15 year old boy, and another as the 17 year old Tibetan Nun, Kelsang Namtso.
Following the growing number of credible eyewitness accounts of this serious incident and grave violation of human rights, UNPO has called for urgent action to be taken by the international community, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, summary of arbitrary executions.
Concern is also is growing for the fate of a number of young Tibetan children, last seen by a British policeman as they were led away by Chinese troops shortly after the end of the gunfire. The group was following a route commonly used by Tibetans hoping to escape persecution from the Chinese authorities, and this is not the first time those attempting the escape have been fired upon by border patrols.
Despite the international media attention this incident has already received, there are also at present reports from Nepal suggesting Chinese authorities are engaging in attempts to track down and silence the numerous climbers and Sherpas that witnessed the event.
UNPO is alarmed by the reports of this event, and strongly condemns this willful disregard for even the most basic fundamental human rights. UNPO calls for urgent action from international bodies mandated to protect human rights, and an official clarification from the hitherto silent Chinese authorities.