Riot in Lhasa (1987)


This was the first major demonstration in Tibet since 1959. Several thousand Tibetans demonstrated in Bharkor Square in Lhasa on 1 October 1987. They set a police station facing the square on fire. In the chaos that followed, eight demonstrators were shot and killed. A further 27 people were wounded. Some of the dead were women and children.


I watched in horror as events unfolded. When I realised that people were being shot, I moved away from the crowd and took cover behind a building.


At one point, I was asked to give first aid to a man who had been shot in the ankle. Other that treating him for shock and dressing the wound there was little that I could do. The bleeding had stopped, but he needed to see a doctor, but was not keen on being taken to a Chinese run hospital.



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