No Confirmation of Release of Tibetan Prisoners

“We are yet to receive independent confirmation of the release of these [Tibetan] prisoners,” said Thubten Samphel, information secretary of the Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamshala, while reacting to a Xinhua news agency’s report that the Chinese government has released 1,157 people, who were charged with minor offences.

“If this is true it is a welcome first step,” Mr Samphel said.

Earlier on Thursday, human rights group, Amnesty International, has called on the Chinese government to release hundreds of Tibetans detained after the peaceful protests, which engulfed many parts of the three traditional provinces of Tibet in March.

A new report from Amnesty says over a thousand people are detained without charge in the Tibetan autonomous region and the neighbouring Tibetan-populated areas.

The report said hundreds of people languish in Chinese prisons for peacefully expressing their opinions, in appalling conditions and without their relatives even knowing where they are.

Meanwhile, forced arrests, beatings and killings of Tibetan people by the Chinese armed police continue to take place unabated in Lhasa and other Tibetan-inhabited areas.

According to reliable information, an unidentified Tibetan girl, who came from a village, was shot dead using a silencer gun by the People’s Armed Police (PAP) outside the southern gate of the Tsuklakhang temple, in Lhasa, at about 12:00 noon somewhere around 20 May.

The Chinese government also claimed that defendants from minority ethnic groups were provided with interpreters at court sessions, which ensured their rights.

On the other hand, the Chinese government has thwarted some Chinese lawyers, who have volunteered to offer legal assistance to Tibetan detainees and suspended the licenses of two prominent human rights lawyers involved in this campaign.