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China grossly suppressing numbers and fates of Tibet uprising victims

(TibetanReview.net, Mar 23, 2009) — The exile Tibetan government said Mar 20 that as of that day it had confirmed information on the deaths of 220 Tibetans during and in the aftermath of the Chinese repression of the Tibetan uprising protests last year. It said that while the total figure was based on eyewitness body-count accounts, identity has been established so far of only 113 of them. The remaining 107 were believed to be pilgrims and other temporary visitors from outside the places where they got killed and hence their identities could not be established. The deaths occurred due to four main causes – indiscriminate firing, Torture, Suicide and Starvation – said the exile government’s Tibet.net Mar 20.

China has said only 19 people had died, including an armed police personnel, all allegedly victims of rioters in Lhasa. The exile Tibetan figures refer to those killed by Chinese troops.

The deaths due to firing occurred in Lhasa city in Tibet Autonomous Region, and Ngaba county and Karze Prefecture (Tongkhor Monastery, Chokri Monastery and Dabpa County) in Sichuan Province.

The largest number of deaths occurred from Mar 14 to 17, 2008. The report said Chinese troops killed at least 80 Tibetans on Mar 14, with their bodies seen piled near Lhasa Public Security Bureau on Mar 15, 2008. It also said bodies of 83 Tibetans were seen disposed of at a crematorium behind Yabda Township in Toelung Dechen County, Lhasa Municipality, bringing to at least over 160 the number of Tibetans killed in the region. However, so far only 40 of them could be identified.

Twenty-three Tibetans were confirmed killed in Chinese troops’ firing in Ngaba county of Sichuan Province on Mar 16, with only 10 of them being identified.

Chinese troops were also known to have shot dead three Tibetans in Dabpa County of Karze Prefecture, Sichuan Province on Mar 11, 2008. None of them were identified.

Another reason why the identities of the dead could not be established was that the authorities disposed of their bodies without informing their families. And with over 5,600 Tibetans detained or arrested (as against Chinese confirmation of only 1,317 such cases) and held incommunicado, and with over 1,000 others having disappeared, families remain unable to determine the fate of their members.

The Tibet.net report put the number of Tibetans seriously injured under Chinese repression at over 1,294, while China says 623 people, including 241 policemen, were injured.

The Tibet.net report said that so far 290 Tibetans had been sentenced, although China has confirmed only 76.

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