Lhasa 'insurrectionist' rescued by police

Updated: 2008-04-01 08:56

LHASA  -- A young boy who was attacked by mobs in the March 14 Lhasa riots criticized on Monday a Western media report carrying a picture that labels him "insurrectionist" taken away by police, saying that he was actually being rescued by the Chinese police then.

Luo Jie, 14, recalled that he was riding a bike on a street near Ramoqe Temple carrying his pet dog on the afternoon of March 14, when he saw a group of rioters were smashing roadside shops.

"I was frightened and decided to turn back home soon," he said. "But all of a sudden, a stone hit me in the head. Then, about five young men -- I didn't know where they came from -- pulled me down from my bike and started beating me with stones, sticks and fists."

"I tried many times to stand up and and run away, but I was stricken down to the ground again and again. I thought I almost died," he told Xinhua.

"Suddenly, I felt someone was grasping my arms, helping me stand up and run away staggeringly. I struggled to open my blood-filled eyes and saw about four police officers."

"They didn't stop running despite so many stones thrown at them. At last, they escorted me to an ambulance," the boy said. His front tooth was broken by half in the attack.

The distorted media report with the picture carrying Luo's image appeared on the website of the Berliner Morgenpost, or Berlin Morning Post, on March 18. It has aroused public outcry in China and overseas.

The young boy came to Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, four years ago with his parents from Zigong, Sichuan Province that neighbors Tibet. His parents run a newspaper stand.

"He is recovering gradually after medical treatment. His mother and I have calmed down," said Luo Xuping, Luo Jie's father.

"We've been told these days someone took a photo of the scene of the police rescuing my son. But what makes me angry is that a foreign website reported the police were capturing a Tibetan insurrectionist," said senior Luo.

"My son was saved by the police, but they were nevertheless wronged and used as a 'negative example' by some media," he said.

"That's unfair," he added.

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