Activists: Chinese Police Arrest 7 Near Buddhist Protest Site

Posted October 17th, 2011 at 8:50 am (UTC-5)
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Tibetan activists say Chinese police arrested seven Tibetans Sunday near a monastery in Sichuan province where a monk set himself on fire a day earlier to protest Chinese rule.

The Tibet Express publication says the arrests occurred as protesters shouted slogans demanding greater freedom for Tibet and the unconditional return of the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India. It quotes an exile monk with contacts in the region as saying police shot some protesters Sunday. The publication did not provide details of the shootings and said it was not known Monday whether there were any fatalities.

On Sunday, the London-based group Free Tibet said a former monk at the flashpoint Kirti monastery set himself on fire Saturday in a nearby market area to protest Chinese rule. The group said police quickly doused the flames and took the man away.

Free Tibet said he was the eighth Tibetan to self-immolate since March.

The U.S. State Department last week voiced concern about the self-immolations, and what it called the clear anger and frustration the trend represents. Washington has repeatedly urged China to respect Tibet's unique religious, cultural and religious identity.

China routinely rejects such warnings, calling them an interference in its internal affairs.