A photo taken and posted on a blog by visiting tourists, Steve and Ulrike, who happened to be in Lhasa on March 10, shows several Chinese police deployed in Barkor. The duo wrote: “100s of Tibetans gather together on the Bakhor Square. They form a strong, silent, peaceful circle around the police who keep the middle of the square open” …. “Suddenly there is panic. 6 or 7 monks are arrested and driven away. Tibetans are very scared because of the stories about the prisons and tortures. (Photo Credit: Steve and Ulrike / Phayul.com)
Dharamsala, March 10: Tibetans arrested from Barkhor in Lhasa are under fear of torture and inhuman treatment, a Tibetan rights body said on Tuesday.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), based in Dharamsala, expressed its “deepest fear that the arrestees from the incidences on 10 March 2008 will be dealt with torture and extreme inhumane treatment in the detention centres.”
“Torture is a regular exercise in Chinese administered prisons and detention centres in Tibet and the authorities are known to have been extremely harsh in the past before important events or occasions,” the group said in its press statement.
“With the current spotlight on Beijing ahead of the summer Olympics, TCHRD fears that the authorities will adopt extreme measures to curb the Tibetan sentiments in order to evade international criticism on China for its appalling human rights record in Tibet,” the group said.
“Left, a woman who obviously was watching us, tourists… Everybody is watching and nobody can do anything...” Steve and Ulrike wrote. They also wrote: “Tibetans start to warn us to be careful about the undercover police who are watching us closely…. Everybody is watching and nobody can do anything...” After experiencing tense situation in Lhasa, on March 10, two of them wrote: “Tibet will always have a deep impression on us. Please do support the Tibetans who are struggling for some freedom.” (Photo credit: Steve and Ulrike / Phayul.com)
The group also said it received the names of four of the several protesters who were arrested on Monday from the Barkhor Street in Lhasa.
They have been identified as Trulku Tenpa Rigsang (a reincarnated lama originally from Golok Lungkar Monastery currently undergoing higher Buddhist studies at the Sera Monastery in Lhasa), Gelek Pel, Samten and Thubwang.
The group said there were 16 protesters (14 monks and 2 laypersons) arrested as against earlier media reports of around ten people in the group.
All the protesters are said to be below 40 years of age with the youngest being around only 15 years old. Most of them originally hail from Zachukha in Sichuan Province.
“Following the protest incidences yesterday in Lhasa and arrest of scores of monks from Drepung, the situation is currently known to be extremely tense,” TCHRD stated.
In Dharamsala, the home of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, hundreds of exiled Tibetans held a solidarity candle light vigil on Tuesday evening, March 11, 2008, for fellow Tibetans arrested inside Tibet on Monday and to protest against China’s illegal occupation of their country. Photo by Sonam Tsering / Phayul.com)
The reports have also come out that scores of monks have also been arrested from the Sera monasteries following protests. Monks in Sera Monastery had assembled in the monastery courtyard raising slogans while a huge contingent of People's Armed Police (PAP) deployed outside the monastery have surrounded the monastery entirely.
TCHRD said it received confirmed report that both the monasteries have been sealed off by the Chinese authorities.