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Six monks arrested for removing and burning Chinese national flags in Diru

Chinese authorities have detained six monks for challenging a government order to fly Chinese national flags on their monastery rooftops. The unidentified monks had removed and burned a Chinese national flag hoisted on the rooftop of Drong-ngur Kagyu Phelgyeling Monastery at Wathang town in Diru County, Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region.

Since September 2013, local Chinese authorities have made it mandatory for all residents in Diru County to fly Chinese national flags on the roofs of their houses ahead of the Chinese national day celebrations. The compulsory flag-flying campaign has led to clashes between local Tibetans and armed security forces in addition to the arbitrary arrests and detention of many Tibetans from various villages in Diru.

The current situation at the monastery and in Wathang town is said to be tense with the deployment of a large number of security forces.

Sources also told TCHRD that the county government had in June issued repressive new directives called Driru Dzong Mimang Sishung gi Tenbeb Khag Ni (Two Decisions of Diru County People’s Government) that spelt out a list of penalties aimed at deterring local Tibetans from opposing or protesting government actions.

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