Details are emerging of a violent assault against a group of Tibetans at a police checkpoint in Dzoege, Ngaba, on July 7.
Around ten villagers were beaten severely by police, including special forces, after a lorry carrying materials for rebuilding a temple was stopped at a checkpoint. According to Tibetan sources, several Tibetans were hospitalized, and one was sent to the provincial capital Chengdu for emergency treatment. He is believed to be in critical condition.
Citing a Tibetan source in the area, Radio Free Asia reported that the incident started when a Tibetan driver, who had been transporting building materials to a local monastery, was stopped at a checkpoint outside Benyul village in Dzoege (Chinese: Ruo’ergai) county in the Ngaba (Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan (the Tibetan area of Amdo). When police asked him to show his permit allowing him to carry the materials, the two heads of Benyul village and other villagers—all of them Tibetans—went to his assistance and vouched for his authority to do the work, the source told RFA (July 8, 2014).
“Suddenly, more police arrived on the scene and attacked the Tibetans who were present,” RFA reports him as saying, adding, “Several were injured, and one was so badly hurt that he had to be taken to [the provincial capital] Chengdu for serious medical attention.”
Images received by ICT depict special forces gathering at the area after police at the checkpoint called for backup, according to other Tibetan sources.
Tibetan writer Tsering Woeser wrote on her blog that “Village heads, elders, and women went to ask that the truck be released, and were beaten by the police.” She posted images of injured Tibetans on her blog. Images circulating on social media from Dzoege depict two men lying on hospital beds apparently with head wounds, their faces covered in blood. The Radio Free Asia report stated that one of the injured was the 65-year old village chief of Benyul.
Tibetans in Dzoege, Ngaba, have been subject to an intense military crackdown, particularly since the wave of self-immolations began in the prefecture in 2009. There have been nine self-immolations, including two twin immolations in 2013, in Dzoege.