CHINESE SOLDIERS MURDER TIBETAN REFUGEES

Posted on: October 13, 2006


The body of the Tibetan nun on Nangpa La, Himalaya, Tibet, on September 30, 2006. The nun was part of a large group of Tibetans who were attempting to flee Tibet for Nepal. When they encountered the Cho Oyu aspirants at their camp, they begged them for food and sat down to eat, only to be overtaken by five Chinese soldiers, who opened fire as the refugees ran away up the pass at 5800 meters. The nun was killed; a number of others were captured, while nine reportedly escaped to Nepal. [Photo] Pavle Kozjek

On September 30, Slovenian alpinist Pavle Kozjek was together with numerous other aspirants at the base camp of the 8201-meter Cho Oyu on the south side of the mountain in Tibet, when he witnessed the murder of a Tibetan nun on Nangpa La at ca. 5800 meters by Chinese soldiers. The nun was part of a large group of Tibetans, ages seven to thirty, who were reportedly attempting to escape Chinese-occupied Tibet by walking through the Himalaya to Nepal. They had been on the move for twenty days when they encountered the Cho Oyu climbers at Nangpa La and begged them for food. Five Chinese soldiers came upon them as they were eating and began to fire. As the Tibetans ran uphill through knee-deep snow to escape, the Chinese soldiers continued to shoot, killing the nun and wounding a twenty-year-old boy. It is unclear how many others may have been killed, but thirty remaining refugees were rounded up and arrested after the murders, while an unspecified number continued up and over Nangpa La, then continued another nine days to escape to Nepal. By at least one account, the climbers witness to the massacre did nothing to help, and the commercial expedition leaders, concerned that interference would jeopardize their future ability to work in Tibet, went so far as to dissuade expedition members from protesting.

Three of the Chinese soldiers, with a number of the Tibetan refugees they captured after the killing. [Photo] Pavle Kozjek

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