A group of eight Tibetan protestors were arrested by Australian police on Wednesday after they stormed the Chinese consulate in Sydney and pulled down a Chinese flag.
The detained protestors were among 50 others holding a peaceful demonstration outside of the consulate building to protest the death of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a Tibetan monk who had been sentenced to life in prison for “crimes of terror and incitement of separatism”.
Tenzin Delek died on July 12 in a Chengdu prison after having served 13 years behind bars. Tibetan citizens and human rights organizations have accused the prison of mistreatment, after Chinese officials reported that the monk died from a heart attack and had refused to see doctors or take medicine.
According to Reuters:
Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s sister, Dolkar, said he had been cremated against his family’s wishes and in violation of Tibetan Buddhist traditions. She also said officials had not told her the cause of his death, adding to her suspicions.
‘Emotions spilled’ during the protest on Wednesday, and the demonstrators ran into the forecourt when the gates of the consulate opened to let a truck through. One of them even scaled a flag pole to remove the Chinese flag.
Eight of the protestors were charged with trespass, while one 38-year-old woman was charged with common assault after reportedly assaulting an official.