« Xinjiang News for 2006.10.14 | HOME PAGE | Tibet Photos »

October 16, 2006

"Shooting them like Dogs"

Let me preface this entry by reminding my readers that I love the People's Republic of China like a parent and am firmly and resolutely opposed to seperatism of any kind. Tibet is an inseperable part of the great motherland! That said...

Nangpa La Pass

WARNING:The video below contains graphic violence and may be disturbing to some viewers.

The international outrage over the shooting of Tibetan refugees attempting to cross into Nepal - which I reported on earlier this week - has intensified today with the posting of a video of the event (also here and here) on YouTube, shot by a Romanian cameraman. The killings were captured on video from the slopes of Cho Oyu at a distance of approximately 1 kilometer. The video clearly shows several of the refugees falling to the ground as PLA soldiers fire rifle shots in their direction:

From the NY Times:

Witnesses quoted by human rights groups said that those who had been fired upon included monks, women and children and that the person who had been killed was a 25-year-old Tibetan Buddhist nun.

The video does not offer a comprehensive account. It was shot from a long distance — the narrator says the cameraman was more than half a mile away — and only a few faces are clearly identifiable. But it does suggest that the shootings were not in direct response to an attack on soldiers. The refugees were spaced far apart on an arduous climb over a 19,000-foot-high pass, called Nanpa La, when the two victims fell.

You can read the full article below.

For those of you with Google Earth installed, click here to visit Nangpa La Pass, where the incident took place. Also, thanks to the reader who passed on this link to official government photos of the incident and the PLA soldiers deployed along the Tibet/Nepal border:

PLA soldiers deployed along the border between Tibet and Nepal.

Video Disputes China’s Claim Shooting Was in Self-Defense
The New York Times
Published: October 16, 2006

BEIJING, Oct. 15 — A Romanian videotape that appears to show Chinese security forces shooting two Tibetan refugees in the Himalayas contradicts Beijing’s claim that the refugees were shot when soldiers acted in self-defense.

China acknowledged on Thursday that soldiers killed one refugee and wounded another on Sept. 30. The official New China News Agency said the soldiers acted only after about 70 refugees seeking to enter Nepal illegally from China attacked border troops.

The long-range video shows a slow, single-file line of Tibetan refugees climbing over a snow-covered mountain pass followed by Chinese troops. A rifle shot is heard and the first climber in the pack falls to the ground, followed by the climber at the tail end of the group.

A separate shot shows a uniformed Chinese soldier firing a rifle. It then shows several soldiers examining the shooting victims and escorting some detainees back to a camp.

The video was first shown on Pro TV, a private Romanian network, and was posted on the Internet. It was taken by Sergui Matei, a Romanian cameraman on a climbing expedition on Cho Oyu, a peak near China’s border with Nepal.

Tibetans often cross into Nepal, at least partly because their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, visits there often. He lives in exile in India and is not permitted to visit China.

The Sept. 30 incident was first reported by mountaineers in Nepal and was circulated by human rights groups, including the International Campaign for Tibet and Human Rights in China.

Witnesses quoted by human rights groups said that those who had been fired upon included monks, women and children and that the person who had been killed was a 25-year-old Tibetan Buddhist nun.

After the accusations, China’s Foreign Ministry vowed to investigate. The New China News Agency subsequently issued a report that said the soldiers had fired in self-defense after soldiers had tried to persuade the group to return home. “The stowaways refused and attacked the soldiers,” the agency said.

The video does not offer a comprehensive account. It was shot from a long distance — the narrator says the cameraman was more than half a mile away — and only a few faces are clearly identifiable.

But it does suggest that the shootings were not in direct response to an attack on soldiers. The refugees were spaced far apart on an arduous climb over a 19,000-foot-high pass, called Nanpa La, when the two victims fell.

The American ambassador in Beijing, Clark T. Randt Jr., went to the Foreign Ministry on Thursday to protest China’s treatment of the refugees, an embassy representative said.


posted October 16, 2006 at 10:57 AM unofficial Xinjiang time | HaoHao This!


Is it only me, or does it sometimes seem like YouTube is partially blocked in China? For instance, when I posted this clip this morning I was able to play it here in Xinjiang, albeit slowly. Now... nada, zilch, nothing... not even a small piece of the red bar will load. Other videos, however, seem to still be available. Hrmmm.

The comment above was posted by michael at October 16, 2006 08:45 PM unofficial Xinjiang time.

it could be a miracle for you to be able to update your Blog in Xinjiang.

Xinhua reported "Snake head 蛇头" helped Tibetan to cross the border.


The comment above was posted by YAPONLUQ at October 16, 2006 10:49 PM unofficial Xinjiang time.

Great link... and great photos of the PLA soldiers positioned along the Tibet/Nepal border. Thanks.

The comment above was posted by michael at October 16, 2006 11:10 PM unofficial Xinjiang time.

I watched the video but it doesn't show much.

yeah someone got shot but that's what happened if you don't listen to warning and keep running away from armed police. It's the same, either in Baghdad or L.A.

I am just surprised only one got shot.

The comment above was posted by whatthe.... at October 17, 2006 02:05 AM unofficial Xinjiang time.

the photos on this site are not the ones of incident which happend on Septembre 30,
but are "files 资料图".

More photos :MountEverest.net

The comment above was posted by YAPONLUQ at October 17, 2006 09:10 AM unofficial Xinjiang time.

I'm suprised at you idoits they werent running away from armed police, I don't even think they saw them until they were shot! Either you guys are chinks, or Nazis

The comment above was posted by Tracy Lee at October 17, 2006 09:47 AM unofficial Xinjiang time.

it's natural. this will happen in the US, EU and any country in the world. even worse in Iraq when the US soliders raped a girl and then killed her family.

What is a border of a country? It means the sovernity. It is not a free market. You are warned not to go, but you desperately go, then you pay your life.

The chinese army is too amicable to kill just one. In US, the police will kiss ten with one hundred bulltes. Did you read the news that 4 policeman killed a gunman with 87 bullets.
God! this man was worse than a dog.

The comment above was posted by it's natural at October 17, 2006 04:15 PM unofficial Xinjiang time.

And so many American people say "NO" to
their own Government.


The comment above was posted by zhang-san at October 17, 2006 08:29 PM unofficial Xinjiang time.

The chief of border guards was honored. (Oct.15)

The comment above was posted by YAPONLUQ at October 17, 2006 09:19 PM unofficial Xinjiang time.

Why do people have to bring in US foreign policy? The people were leaving China into Nepal. There is some crap about "Oh it will happen anywere."
I sense the stink of chinese government moles.

I applaud their "transition," they will change, but the gov is too big for it all to change.

Yes, San Ysidro Border guard will shoot Mexicans fleeing back into Mexico. And the Mexican guard shoots migrants going into the US....riiiiight, if I follow some posters' logic.

The comment above was posted by nnn at October 18, 2006 11:44 AM unofficial Xinjiang time.

Those foxes, who declianed themself as liones losing thier fake human maskes rencent years. They are lion to those minorities and they are dogs for those majority. WHat could I say? Being a son of His Holyness The Dalai Lama, I've already seen enough. Chinese Red Army never stop killing those brothers and sisters of mine, and made me homeless. It's ok if Chinese 1.2 billion people would happy, live comfortabliy with drinking Tibetan's blood. BUt you Chinese said that We are "Brothers and sisters ". Then,where are your bortherhoods and sisterhoods? Chinese always say that Japan is Ghost, but actually they are alived real Ghost. Hope This voice from inside Tibet would make world people to think and take actions. Om ma ni pedma Oh

The comment above was posted by Homelessyak at October 18, 2006 03:37 PM unofficial Xinjiang time.

Those mother fucker Chinese:
Is this the humanity you carry on and is this your strategy to treat Tibetans. Sly foxes, if you could be honest to admit what you you did in the Tibetan history and how you checked Tibetans, but you never admit what you did, you put on a nice mask as being nice to Tibetans under the world's attention, but you commit crimes under the bright sunlight.
We follow non-violence, it does not mean we will saty quite and let you kill us secretly whenever!!

The comment above was posted by Butterfly searching for freedom at October 18, 2006 08:43 PM unofficial Xinjiang time.

There wasn't even warning shots. This was official murder, nothing more, nothing less.

The comment above was posted by Nik at October 18, 2006 08:51 PM unofficial Xinjiang time.

Its a shame that the commie Chinese goverment and some Chinese people are making a bad name for other Chinese in the world. Stop occupying Tibet, East Turkistan and Inner Mongolia and behave reasonably! 5000 years of history and this is what we have to show for?

The comment above was posted by SG Chinese at October 19, 2006 10:23 AM unofficial Xinjiang time.

The PLA soldier has shoot two people, the soldier is in uniform, does he has the right to kill? This is not war, and refugees are not animals. but defenceless. Those politicians and diplomats who said "the soldier acted in self are also lying". They altogether are no better than dogs to treat refugees as such, and I am an oversea Chinese, I am ashamed that my fellow people in China are so disgusting, it's hard to believe that common sense and morality is seldom found among the mainlanders!

The comment above was posted by Norey at October 20, 2006 05:11 AM unofficial Xinjiang time.

Shoot and kill innocent Tibetian refugee is a perfect example of nefarious red Chinese communists. Chaos evil Chinese Communists killed millions of innocent Chinese people during the cultural revolution in mid-1960s and brutally murdered thousands of Chinese [EXPUNGED]-seekers in [EXPUNGED] in 1989. How could evil red Chinese communists help North Korea and Pakistan to build nuke weapons to threaten world humanity because red hateful Chinese Communists loves to destroy the world freedom! Also, how clever of demonic red Chinese communists stole our American jobs by using cheap slave labor cost and trick easily gullible Western business people for a huge lucrative profit! We will eye on your filthy Communist demons and [EXPUNGED] will never die! Freedom of [EXPUNGED] will prevail! (censored by Michael)

The comment above was posted by Jeffrey at October 21, 2006 06:24 AM unofficial Xinjiang time.

Alright, alright. I'm going to have to turn comments off for this entry before all of you get me banned in China! Sorry.

The comment above was posted by michael at October 21, 2006 09:28 AM unofficial Xinjiang time.

Tibetans tortured by Chinese after failed escape attempt, says survivor: Boy, 15, tells of events following nun's killing: Captured group 'jailed and given electric shocks'
Randeep Ramesh, New Delhi
1 February 2007
The Guardian

More than 30 Tibetans were tortured and sent to a labour camp after their attempt to escape across the Himalayas from their homeland failed when Chinese border guards fired and killed several of the unarmed group, according to a survivor.

In the first reported account of the event, Jamyang Samten, 15, said he was among those who ended up being given electric shocks and forced to dig ditches "as a warning to others".

Samten was in a 75-strong group making their way over the 5,800-metre-high (19,000ft) Nangpa La pass in September when Chinese guards opened fire. At least two people, including a 17-year-old Buddhist nun, were killed.

The incident was filmed by a Romanian television producer on a mountaineering expedition, sparking an international outcry. Beijing had claimed the refugees were shot when border guards were attacked.

Of the survivors, 41 managed to reach India but 32 were caught and detained. The teenager said he was interrogated over a three-day period during which he was repeatedly hit with an electric cattle prod. "It went on until I fainted," Samten told reporters, adding that police repeatedly asked him to identify the dead nun.

After three days the Tibetans were taken to a prison in Shigatse, Tibet's second-largest city, Samten said. They were questioned again while chained to a wall, he said. "A guard wearing a metal glove would hit us in the stomach."

Samten was held in a labour camp there for 48 days and forced to dig ditches, build fences and work on fields, he said. Once released he paid guides to take him via Nepal to India where the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader, has been based since 1959. "He wanted to come to see his holiness [the Dalai Lama] and he also wanted an education in the Tibetan language," said Tsering Ngodup, who works with the Tibetan refugee centre in Dharamsala.

The account could not be verified but echoes the stories of others who have made similar treks. Lobsang Gyaltsen, who managed to escape when Samten was captured, said he feared for his family in Tibet. "I do not know if they are safe. We come here to learn about our language and culture. These things are hard in Tibet where we do not have freedom."

Gyaltsen said he had been walking for 17 days when Chinese guards caught up with his group, who had eaten little and spent days struggling over ice and rock.

More than 4,000 Tibetans flee to Nepal each year across the border, which crosses several of the highest mountains on earth, including Everest. Supporters of the Dalai Lama claim China runs a repressive police state in Tibet. Beijing regards him as leading a separatist movement from exile.

With a new railway linking mainland China to Lhasa, Tibet's capital, Beijing has tightened its grip on the region. "China has become emboldened over Tibet," said Phunchok Stobdan, an Indo-Tibetan affairs expert. "Nobody dares to raise the issue with them."

The comment above was posted by michael at February 2, 2007 09:14 AM unofficial Xinjiang time.