Violent unrest occurred in the Luhou region of Sichuan province on 23 January when a number of Tibetans, who constitute the majority of the population there, were arrested while handing out pamphlets. Several people were killed and others injured. The official Chinese news agency has confirmed the incident. In this connection, Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement in Berlin today (24 January):
“I am very concerned about reports to the effect that once more Tibetans have been killed or injured during a demonstration. Peaceful demonstrations are protected by the right to freedom of opinion. However, they need to remain peaceful.
I call upon the Chinese Government to respect and actively defend that right. I would ask that the injured be given medical treatment without having to fear detention.
There needs to be an end to measures taken against the Tibetan population that violate their internationally protected human rights.
I call upon the Chinese Government to deescalate the already very tense situation in the region and to respect the culture and religion of the Tibetans. The fact that in recent months several Tibetans have set themselves on fire is a tragic sign of their desperation.”