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China detained over 900 Tibet pro-independence protesters: official

[JURIST] Police in China [JURIST news archive] have detained 953 people, of which 403 have been formally arrested, in connection with protests against Chinese rule in Tibet [BBC backgrounder] last month, Chairman of the Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region Qiangba Puncog [CIIC profile] said Wednesday. Last Friday, a top Tibetan official was quoted as saying that Tibetan courts would prosecute more than 1,000 protesters [JURIST report] before May 1.

Chinese officials have blamed the exiled Dalai Lama [personal website] for organizing the protests by Buddhist monks in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa last month. China says that 19 people died after skirmishes between pro-Tibet protesters and Chinese authorities last month, but the Tibetan government-in-exile [official website] said that 130 had died [JURIST report]. The Dalai Lama has denied accusations that he was behind the riots and has said that he supports true autonomy for Tibet, not outright independence. AFP has more.

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