Lifestyle & Belief

Photos show China punishing Tibetan monks: report


This picture taken on October 19, 2011 shows a monk at a monastery in Shanba township in China's Sichuan province. A Tibetan Buddhist lama in southwest China nervously dodges questions about a wave of self-immolations by clerics protesting religious repression in the region, saying his monks are forbidden even to speak about the issue.



Photos that appear to show Chinese police punishing Tibetan monks in the style of the Cultural Revolution have been posted on a US-based Chinese news website.

The photos, reportedly taken in Tibetan areas of China's Sichuan province, show monks with placards around their necks that detail their crimes, such as "splitting the nation." Other photos show uniformed members of the People's Armed Police on patrol.

It is not clear when the photos were taken. They were posted on Boxun, a Chinese community news website that is based in the United States. 

The photos of monks being paraded with signs are reminiscent of public shaming scenes during China's Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 70s, when alleged criminals were forced to wear dunce caps and placards declaring their "crimes."

More from GlobalPost: Buddhist monk "first to self-immolate in Tibet"

A former Buddhist monk reportedly set himself on fire in Tibet this week, becoming the 12th monk to self-immolate in 2011 and the first to do so in Tibet. Other incidents have taken place in Tibetan areas of Sichuan province. 

The Dalai Lama has blamed a "cultural genocide" in Tibet, under the Chinese government's hard-line approach to the region, for the trend of self-immolations of Tibetan monks and nuns. China has condemned the self-immolations, and blamed the Dalai Lama for being behind them.

China says Tibet has always been part of its territory. Many Tibetans argue the region was virtually independent for centuries, and accuse Beijing of suppressing their religion and culture.

More on GlobalPost: Dalai Lama blames "cultural genocide" in Tibet for self-immolations