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UPDATE: Two dead as China denies medical care for bullet-injured Tibetan protesters

Tibetans shouting slogans at the protest in Loshu township in Sershul county in Sichuan province's Kardze prefecture, Aug 12, 2014. (Photo courtesy RFA)
Tibetans shouting slogans at the protest in Loshu township in Sershul county in Sichuan province’s Kardze prefecture, Aug 12, 2014. (Photo courtesy RFA)

(TibetanReview.net, Aug19, 2014) – One Tibetan has committed suicide and another has succumbed to bullet injuries as a result of torture and denial of medical treatment days after Chinese paramilitary police opened fire Aug 12 on a crowd of hundreds of Tibetans peacefully protesting at Loshu (Chinese: Luoxu) Township in Sershul (Shiqu) County of Kardze (Ganzi) Prefecture, Sichuan Province, seeking the release of their village leader. At least 10 Tibetans received bullet injuries and a number of protesters, including the injured, were detained by Chinese police.

Lo Palsang from the township’s Shugpa Village committed suicide while in detention on Aug 17 to protest against torture by the Chinese police while another detainee, a 22-year-old man, died from injuries on the same day, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Aug 18, citing an exile Tibetan in India with local contacts.

While the total number of the detained Tibetans remains unknown, it was large enough to fill the township detention centre, with many being required to be temporarily kept in a hospital where some of them received some medical attention. Eventually those in hospital were also brought to the detention centre where they were denied any further medical treatment despite having bullets still embedded in their bodies.

Those still suffering from untreated bullet injuries in police custody were reported to include the detained village leader’s son Kunga Sherab. His condition was reported to be critical.

The detainees also include monks, including one named Karma Rinchen, a meditation instructor at the local Miru Monastery.

Wangdak, 45-year-old leader of Denma Shugpa Village, was taken away at midnight of Aug 11-12 after he had complained to the authorities about the harassment of Tibetan women by senior Chinese officials during a cultural performance which the local community had been forced to host during their visit to the county. But rather than listening to their complaints, the authorities called in security forces to disperse the crowd.

The armed police were reported to have fired teargas shells and live ammunition into the crowd.

Following the brutal attack, many adults fled their village to hide in the surrounding hills, leaving behind mostly women, children and elderly who were subjected to interrogation and torture by the Chinese. Reinforcement was called in later in the day and the village was fully surrounded by troops.

Wangdak had voiced strong objection to the senior Chinese officials’ ill-treatment of Tibetan women during the cultural show, resulting in a verbal altercation. Enraged Chinese officials then accused Wangdak of having held an illegal ceremony at the beginning of a traditional local horse-racing festival, which included an incense-burning ritual and prayer offerings. Wangdak was the chairman of the Denma Horse Festival Committee which organized the event.

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