Tibetans rally in central China

Nov. 9, 2012 at 12:06 PM

BEIJING, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Following a string of self-immolations, a pro-Tibet organization said Friday that as many as 5,000 people rallied in central China for more basic rights.

Advocacy group Free Tibet reports 4,000-5,000 people marched in the center of the Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture within China's central Qinghai province calling for more basic rights for Tibetans.

"Chinese armed military and police were deployed to two locations in the town but did not engage the protesters," the organization said.

Tibetans said they were frustrated with the marginalization of Tibetan culture in the area.

The organization said an 18-year-old and 23-year-old died after setting themselves on fire in protests this week. Paramilitary forces were deployed to the area in an effort to control the mobilization are larger protest groups.

The latest protests coincide with the start of meetings in Beijing by the Chinese Communist Party to announce their change of leadership.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay upset the Chinese government last week when she expressed concern about the "continuing allegations of violence against Tibetans."

Since 2009 about 60 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese rule.

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