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Tibetan protesters allegedly beaten, robbed by Chinese police before release

Tibetan government workers protest the loss of their jobs in Machu county, Gansu province, April 8, 2016. (Photo courtesy: RFA)
Tibetan government workers protest the loss of their jobs in Machu county, Gansu province, April 8, 2016. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(TibetanReview.net, Apr17, 2016) – A group of young Tibetans who protested on Apr 8 against unfair dismissal from low level government jobs in Machu (Chinese: Maqu) County of Kanlho (Gannan) Prefecture, Gansu Province, have been severely beaten and robbed by Chinese police before being released two days later, reported the Tibetan Service of Radio Free Asia (Washington) Apr 12, citing a local source.

The Tibetans, all graduates and numbering 29, had held low-level posts for three to four years in various government departments including the department of forestry. The county government ended their employment with a notice saying they lacked the right qualifications for their jobs. However, most of those hired to replace them had either much lower qualifications – to the extent of having only primary level education – or had come from outside regions amid allegations of bribery and other corrupt practices.

The aggrieved Tibetans therefore protested outside the county government offices, seeking restoration of their jobs. The authorities responded by sending in the police who took them to the county detention centre where they were severely beaten, with their mobile phones and other possessions, including gold rings, being allegedly confiscated.

The protest took place in two groups, with the second one taking place on Apr 9 in support of the first group.

The police were later reported to have summoned the parents of the detainees who were released on their responsibility. The parents were warned against storing or sharing any pictures or information related to the protest in their mobile phones upon pain of being jailed for three to four years.

The detainees were, however, initially reported to have refused to leave the detention centre, demanding that the county government head explain the reason for the suppression of their protest and their subsequent detention and beatings. The detainees were also said to have demanded compensation.

They were reportedly asked to report to the county offices later on to express their views and concerns.

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