08/23/2016, 13.14
TIBET - CHINA
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Tibet, Beijing tightens laws against protests and self-immolations

The government plans of the prison "longer" for anyone who sets himself on fire, manifested for independence or autonomy for Tibet, sends abroad about the situation of the province. Chinese repression threatens to exacerbate even more the situation.

Lhasa (AsiaNews) - The communist authorities of the Tibet province have distributed an "instruction manual" that contains new and tougher laws against protests and self-immolations to local Buddhist monasteries. The text is written in Chinese and Tibetan, and announces: demonstrations, even lone demonstrations, and political suicide will be punished with heaftier prison sentences. Subject to a custodial sentence for any "co-conspirators".

The text specifies that the protests "include spreading news abroad about what is happening in Tibet". The use of social networks is banned for monks and their access to internet restricted access.

Lobsang Yeshi, religious from Kirti monastery forced to flee to India, told Phayul newspaper: "The authorities use the law as a means to justify the repression of Tibetans . These new laws demonstrate what the real situation in Tibet is".

Another source, anonymous for security reasons, adds ironically: "What do you mean 'solitary demonstrations'? If I walk down the street reciting my prayers and I use a word about the Dalai Lama or about Buddhism, will I be incarcerated? It seems absurd. "

The phenomenon of self-immolations was born from the 2008 protests that took place in Lhasa, Tibetan province. On that occasion, the fighting raged on the anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Beijing - in March 1959, and violently repressed - which has cost the lives of nearly 220 people. The immolation victims now count almost 200.

The Chinese authorities have increased control over Tibetan areas to prevent the self-immolations and arrest Tibetans who promote this type of protest. Those who sacrifice themselves demand the free return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for the region. For his part, the exiled Buddhist leader has repeatedly called on his followers "not to take their own life, but to use it instead to protest in another way".  

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