1,000 Tibetan Monks Jailed to Prevent Protests

Entire monasteries cleared as Olympics start date approaches
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2008 2:35 AM CDT
Nepalese police officers detain Tibetan exile nuns and monks protesting against China's recent crackdown in Tibet, in front of the Chinese Embassy consulate office in Katmandu, Nepal on June 3.    (AP Photo/Binod Joshi)
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(Newser) – The Chinese government has jailed more than 1,000 monks in an effort to prevent protests during the Olympic Games, reports the Times of London. Three large monasteries are empty near Lhasa, where hundreds of monks and supporters held protests amid gunfire in March. The government is holding the monks—many of them young ethnic Tibetans—in nearby prisons and detention centers, according to sources.

The government reportedly plans to free the monks after the Games end. “They have been told they will be allowed to leave because they are not guilty of a crime,” said one monk's brother. But they are expected to be ordered to return to their villages and not the monasteries, which means the monasteries could lose some of their best scholars.