|Chinese police fire at Tibetans demanding detainee release
A US-backed broadcaster is reporting that China’s security forces fired into a crowd of Tibetan residents who were demanding the release of a fellow villager detained for protesting orders to display the national flag.
Chinese police also fired tear gas at those protesting Sunday in Biru county in the Tibet Autonomous Region and dozens were injured, Radio Free Asia said in its report today.
The report, which cited unnamed local and exiled Tibetan sources, could not be independently confirmed. Local Communist Party and government officials either could not be reached by phone or hung up shortly after answering.
The International Campaign for Tibet earlier reported that authorities intensified the security presence in Biru county and nearby areas after residents refused orders to display Chinese flags to commemorate National Day on October 1.
The ICT, a Tibetan rights group, said government work teams had been sent to Biru, known as Driru in Tibetan, ahead of the national holiday to compel local Tibetan residents to fly the flag as part of an intensified effort to enforce loyalty to the Communist Party.
In Sunday's unrest, protesters were calling for the release of a local resident, Dorje Draktsel, who was detained last week after participating in demonstrations against the flag order, the Radio Free Asia report said.
China has claimed Tibet as part of its territory for centuries while Tibetans say they were largely independent prior to the occupation by communist troops in 1950.—AP