Washington: A leading human rights body on Saturday asked China to respect rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in responding to protests in Lhasa and other part of Tibet during the anniversary of March 2008 agitations by Tibetans.
On the eve of the second anniversary of the March 14, 2008, protests in the Tibetan areas, Human Rights Watch also demanded release of those detained without charge in Tibet.
Scores of people in Tibetan capital Lhasa have reportedly already been arbitrarily arrested and detained, the HRW said in a media release.
Major protests against Chinese rule erupted in Lhasa on March 10, 2008, and spread across the Tibetan plateau. The day marks a failed Tibetan uprising on 10 March 1959, when an anti-Chinese protest erupted in Lhasa.
On March 14, 2008, near Ramoche temple in Lhasa, some people started protesting against police who were preventing monks from leaving the compound; some protesters turned violent and burned several police cars.
The police retreated and then inexplicably disappeared from Lhasa for much of the rest of the day. Rioters burned Chinese shops and government buildings and attacked Chinese- looking passersby. Dozens of protests were held in Tibetan communities across the plateau over the course of that week.
"Further repression will breed precisely the kind of instability the Chinese government fears," said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch."
Addressing underlying grievances and allowing Tibetans to enjoy basic rights of expression, assembly and due process is the only way to ensure the `harmony` Beijing so craves," Richardson said.
The 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet to India soon after the failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule, and the effective collapse of the Tibetan resistance movement led by him.
And since 2008, Tibetan areas remain tense, closely monitored, and saturated with troops. In 2009, two Tibetans were executed for their involvement in the 2008 protests.