Chinese Official: More Than 1,000 Released After Tibet Riots

A senior Chinese official says authorities have released more than one-thousand people detained during and after anti-government unrest in Tibet earlier this year.

The official Xinhua news agency Wednesday quotes Zhu Weiqun, deputy head of the ministry handling relations with minorities, as saying that most of the rioters turned themselves in right after the unrest erupted into violence in March. He says the suspects had enjoyed all legitimate rights based on Chinese law.

Xinhua also quoted Zhu as accusing Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, of turning a blind eye to violent activities during that period.

China launched a massive crackdown in response to the unrest, which Chinese officials say killed 22 people.

Tibet's government-in-exile says 218 Tibetans were killed and nearly seven thousand were detained during the crackdown.

China blames the Dalai Lama for inciting unrest in Tibet and nearby regions. Peaceful protests turned violent on March 14th and the government sent in security forces to disperse the protesters.