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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Siberian Buddhists Protest Police Violence




About 1,000 Siberian Buddhists demonstrated peacefully Thursday to protest against police who beat a group of monks in a controversy over a 300-year-old medical atlas being sent on a museum tour of the United States.


The Buddhists gathered in Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia region in southeastern Siberia, just north of the border with Mongolia, Russian news agencies said.


Also Thursday, a team of Russian Interior Ministry officials arrived in Ulan-Ude to investigate the police action on Monday.


Buddhist leaders in Buryatia had tried to block the removal of the Atlas of Tibetan Medicine, fearing it would not be properly protected during scheduled exhibitions across the United States.


The atlas and 40 accompanying paintings are scheduled to be exhibited in Atlanta; Washington; Bloomington, Indiana; and Newark, New Jersey.


Monks organized protests outside the museum in Ulan-Ude, where it has been on display. On Monday, police seized the text, beat unarmed monks with batons and arrested monks protesting the move. The same day the manuscript was taken to Moscow, and it will be flown to the United States.