Chinese police seal off monastery in Tibet

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Drepung monastery.
Image: Philipp Roelli.

Armed Chinese police have surrounded and sealed off two monasteries in Tibet after monks began to celebrate the Dalai Lama's honor of receiving the United States Congressional Gold Medal. At least 100 monks are reported to be held inside the Drepung monastery and its not known if any have been injured or arrested. Earlier, at least 3,000 police surrounded the Zhaibung Monastery.

"[Chinese] police stopped an attempt by monks to peacefully mark the honor to the Dalai Lama last week [by sealing off the monastery]. Tibetan sources report a buildup of armed police in the city, checkpoints on roads out of Lhasa, and an order to Lhasa citizens not to carry out any religious or celebratory activities," said the International Campaign for Tibet in a report.

Other protesters and monks are reported to have been arrested and injured when police began to clash with the celebrations which started on October 16 inside the monastery. Beginning in the morning on October 17, police began to intervene to stop the celebrations throughout Tibet.

China claims that it is not aware of any report, and has not commented on the situation in Tibet.