Eight Tibetan students from Tsolho Vocational School in Chabcha, China, were arrested and sentenced to four years of prison on April 10, 2013.They were accused of causing harm to social stability after they organized a demonstration as a reaction to a booklet which was distributed to them by the authorities in May 2012. They marched asking for freedom and equality for the different cultures in China and defending their right to use the Tibetan language.
The protest, which involved around a thousand participants, took place in November 2012 and as a consequence, around two dozen people had to be hospitalized. The demonstration came to an end when police forces started firing tear gas and shots into the air.
The school the condemned students went to specialized in Tibetan and Chinese medicine and was targeted by the booklet, which asserted that the Dalai Lama was a separatist leader trying to divide the Chinese motherland, among other statements which were seen as aggressive and discriminatory by Tibetan students. It also ridiculed the Tibetan language, treating it as irrelevant. With language being such an important part of culture and identity, students reacted negatively and violently to these words and decided to act accordingly.