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Tibetan protesters missing after Chinese arrests: rights group

[JURIST] The status of more than 1,000 protesters detained by Chinese authorities during March demonstrations [BBC backgrounder] in Tibet remains unknown, according to an Amnesty International report [text, DOC; press release] released Wednesday. About 370 of the protesters who surrendered to authorities and about 980 arrested in April after the protests have still not been released or charged [Amnesty press release]. Amnesty officials also criticized China for severely censoring media reports on Tibet, blocking international journalists and independent human rights observers from entering the region, and physically abusing detained activists. An Amnesty official said that under Chinese law [text, Administrative Punishment Law of the People's Republic of China], detainees can be held without charge for four years [ITV report]. The Amnesty report called on China to free all detainees who engaged in peaceful protest. AFP has more. Reuters has additional coverage.

Rights groups have criticized China for ongoing human rights violations [HRW materials] targeted at Tibetans, and many call for the total independence [advocacy website] of the currently "semi-autonomous" region. In March, police in China detained 953 people [JURIST report], of whom 403 have been formally arrested, in connection with protests against Chinese rule in Tibet. In April, a Chinese court sentenced 30 people to prison for their roles in the protests. Chinese officials have blamed the exiled Dalai Lama [personal website] for organizing the protests.

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