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China Arrests 8 Protesters in Golok Pema Dzong

Chinese security forces have detained 7 laymen and a monk in a protest consisting of hundreds of Tibetans Tuesday afternoon in Golok Pema Dzong (Chinese: Baima County, Golog Tibetan autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai.)

Urgyen Rigzin, a native of Golok living in exile, told VOA Tibetan the protesters were calling on the authorities for greater religious freedom in the area.

“The protesters were demanding the withdrawal of security and military forces that have been deployed around two area monasteries, and the detention and interrogation of many senior monks,” said Rigzin.

All shops remained closed as a convoy of 25 troop carrying trucks moved through the streets of the town, Rigzin told VOA.

In recent days, the area had been bristling with tension as local Tibetans decided to observe mourning for those who died in the recent self-immolations rather than celebrate the lunar New Year.

Sources confirm that many communities in the region had been under intense pressure from the authorities to celebrate the New Year publicly.