Chinese Police Interrogate Tibetans Arrested Over Dam Protests


(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Chinese Police have started wide-scale, rigorous interrogations of Tibetans arrested for protesting against a dam project, beating some of them so badly that they required medical attention, the media reported.

On February 23, Chinese Police had arrested more than 1,000 Tibetans -- both Buddhist monks and local residents -- of Wangbuding township in Dege County of Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province, in central China, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.

The detainees were "slapped and beaten severely each time they refused to answer important questions", a source told RFA, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

"Many had to be taken to the hospital," the source said.

Since February 14, monks and residents had been peacefully protesting the planned construction of the Gangtuo hydropower dam on the Drichu River, known as Jinsha River in Chinese.

The dam will force two major communities to be relocated and submerge several monasteries, including the Wonto Monastery, famous for ancient murals dating back to the 13th century, RFA reported.

"One of the monks from Wonto Monastery was among those who had to be immediately rushed to the hospital because he had been beaten so badly that he could not even speak," the first source said. "He also had many severe bruises on his body."

Many of those arrested were being held in a police station in Upper Wonto while many others were being held in an old prison in Dege County.

The detainees are being held in various other places throughout Dege County as the police do not have a place to detain more than 1,000 individuals in a single location, RFA reported.

"In these detention centrrs, the arrested Tibetans were not given any food, save for some hot water, and many passed out because of the lack of food amid the freezing temperatures," the second source told RFA.

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