Communist China is stepping up its country-wide crackdown on dissent. The regime is now tightening security throughout ethnic Tibetan areas following a crackdown on unrest around a monastery in the Sichuan province:
The US-based International Campaign for Tibet said Saturday two people were beaten to death Thursday when they attempted to stop police from detaining hundreds of monks from the monastery.
More than 300 monks were also forcibly removed to undergo 'patriotic re-education' at an undisclosed location, activists said.
Villagers, most of them elderly, had attempted to protect the monks and tried to prevent police, soldiers and party officials from entering the monastery. According to the Free Tibet activist group, the villagers were forcibly removed.
One 60-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman died in the process. The causes of death could not be independently established so far.
According to Free Tibet director Stephanie Brigden, several of the younger protesters remain in detention, their fate unknown.
Tensions at the monastery have been running high since a young monk immolated himself on March 16 to protest government controls on Tibetan Buddhism.
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Activists say video obtained by VOA of unrest at a Tibetan monastery where a monk burned himself to death refutes Chinese government claims that conditions at the facility are normal.
The video, which the rights group "International Campaign for Tibet" said was shot at great risk last month, shows Chinese security forces patrolling near the Kirti monastery, in an ethnically Tibetan area of China's Sichuan province. It also shows the young monk covered with burns and apparently in shock after self-immolating March 16 to protest China's policies on Tibet.
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The corrupted, authoritarian leaders of China know that sooner or later they are going to be ousted from power. The popular upraisings in Northern Africa and the Middle East have reminded them of their ultimate fate. They may be able to suppress freedom and human rights for a while still, but change is on its way ....