Facebook Twitter

10 TIBETANS SPEAK AGAINST CHINA - WITH SILENCE

SHARE 10 TIBETANS SPEAK AGAINST CHINA - WITH SILENCE

Ten Tibetan women attending an international women's conference staged a silent protest today against Chinese rule in their homeland.

The demonstration by the women, all of whom live outside Tibet, coincided with China's celebration of the 30th anniversary of its establishment of a new administrative system in Tibet. Communist China has controlled the Himalayan region since 1950 and prohibits calls for independence.The 10 protesters evaded China's efforts to screen out exiled Tibetans among the nearly 20,000 women attending a conference of women activists called the NGO Forum.

Wearing traditional long, dark dresses with brightly colored aprons, nine of the women fastened white gags over their mouths and marched 1,000 yards.

They held hands and stood for about 10 minutes in front of a pavilion at the conference grounds in Huairou, a county seat 30 miles north of Beijing.

More than 100 other women surrounded the protesters and sang "We Shall Overcome" to show support.

"We felt it would be effective to tape our mouths to reflect an environment where we don't feel free to speak," said Tenki Davis of the San Francisco-based International Committee of Lawyers for Tibet.

"It's symbolic. We've been muzzled," Davis said.

China refused to allow exiled Tibetan NGOs to be accredited to the women's conference. The few Tibetans who obtained visas as members of other groups say Chinese security officers have videotaped them constantly.