A US-backed broadcaster yesterday reported that Chinese security forces on Sunday fired into a crowd of Tibetan residents who were demanding the release of a fellow villager detained for protesting orders to display the national flag.
Chinese police also fired tear gas at the protesters in Biru County in the Tibet Autonomous Region and dozens were injured, Radio Free Asia said in its report.
The report, which cited unnamed local and exiled Tibetan sources, could not be independently confirmed.
Local Chinese Communist Party and government officials could not be reached by phone or hung up shortly after answering.
The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) reported earlier that authorities intensified security in Biru and nearby areas after residents refused orders to display Chinese flags to commemorate China’s National Day on Tuesday last week.
The ICT, a Tibetan rights group, said government work teams had been sent to Biru ahead of the national holiday to compel Tibetan residents to fly the flag as part of an intensified effort to enforce loyalty to the party.
On Sunday, protesters were calling for the release of Dorje Draktsel, who was detained last week after participating in demonstrations against the flag order, the Radio Free Asia report said.
Meanwhile, in the northwestern Muslim region of Xinjiang, an official Chinese newspaper said authorities have detained more than 100 people from late June to the end of August for the spread of “religious extremism.”