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China detains 4 Tibetans for protesting seizure of land for gold mine

(TibetanReview.net, Apr26, 2014) – Chinese police in Palyul (Chinese: Baiyu) County of Kardze (Ganzi) prefecture, Sichuan Province, have detained four village leaders on Apr 21 after the local Tibetans strongly resisted pressure from the authorities to force them to sell their land to a Chinese mining company. The four – Thupga, Gade, Kyamo, and Jamyang – belong to Barchung Village in the county’s Tromthar township, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Apr 24.

The police are said to accuse the detainees of having violated China’s constitution without explaining how.

The Chinese company, looking to mine gold, was said to have been trying to force the Tibetans to sell their land in an area in the county called Shawathang. Because of the Tibetans’ continued resistance, the Chinese were said to have become more aggressive towards the end of Feb 2014 and tried to forcibly take over the land. This led to a protest by the local Tibetans led by the four men.

The county authorities then warned of serious consequences for the protesters, which compelled many of them to flee into the surrounding mountains. The Tibetans returned when the situation appeared to have calmed down, which was when the four were held.

Some four years earlier, on Aug 17, 2010, Chinese police in Palyul County had fired on a group of local Tibetans who protested against the expansion of a gold mine there as the operation was polluting the environment. At least four protesters were killed and 30 others injured.

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