Chinese Authorities Release Hundreds of Tibetans Detained Over Dam Protests

Chinese authorities released several hundred Tibetan monks and residents after they were arrested in late February for protests against the Gangtuo/Kamtok hydroelectric dam project in Sichuan province. However, sources state that authorities continue to hold several monks and a village official due to the group leading the protests.

The two individuals were reportedly moved to the Dege County Detention Center and handed over to the local government’s Procuratorate Office. However, authorities have not provided any details regarding any charges they may face.

The demonstrations began on February 14th after several Chinese officials visited one of the villages set to be demolished and submerged due to the project. The dam would also submerge six Tibetan monasteries in the area.

Chinese authorities began mass arrests of Tibetan monks and villagers in the area on February 22nd to prevent the protests from growing. The detained monks and villagers said they were held in small cells, given little to no food or water, and beaten by Chinese guards.