(TibetanReview.net, Feb18, 2017) – A 20-year-old Tibetan youth was arrested by Chinese Police as he staged a lone street protest in the Serta County town of Sichuan Province on Jan 5. His whereabouts has remained unknown ever since, reported the Tibetan Service of Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington) Feb 16, citing a former Tibetan monk prisoner who now lives in exile.
Several reports said the youth, named as Sonam Tashi, had shouted for the return home of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama and freedom in Tibet. He also shouted prayers for long life for the Dalai Lama.
“As he marched, he threw leaflets in the air and called out for freedom for Tibet and the long life of [exiled spiritual leader] the Dalai Lama,” RFA quoted Golog Jigme as saying, speaking from Switzerland. He has added that the youth was quickly taken down by the Chinese police.
Reports say Sonam Tashi’s family tried frantically to get information on his whereabouts but without success. The authorities refuse to tell them anything about him, including his conditions and whereabouts.
The youth’s protest took place at a time when the Chinese authorities had greatly strengthened security, including with additional deployment troops, ahead of sensitive Tibetan festivals and anniversaries such as the Tibetan New Year and the Mar 10 Tibetan National Uprising Day.