(TibetanReview.net, Sep22’22) – Chinese police in a Tibetan county in what is now part of China’s Sichuan Province have arrested and tortured five Tibetans, including one to death, last month for having publicly carried out a ceremony of burning incense and offered prayers for Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, reported the Tibetan Service rfa.org Sep 21.
Citing two exile Tibetan with knowledge of the incident but requesting anonymity for their contacts’ safety, the report named the five as Chugdhar, Ghelo, Tsedo, Bhamo and Kori, all residents of Serthar (Chinese: Seda) County in Kardze (Ganzi) Prefecture.
They were stated to have lit incense materials and offered prayers for the long life of the Dalai Lama at a public place on Aug 24.
They were reported to have been arrested shortly afterwards, with the police not citing any reason for doing so.
One of the sources has said the five arrested persons had carried out the religious activity not just by themselves as they had been appointed by fellow-local Tibetans to lead religious activities.
Citing the second exile Tibetan with local contacts, the report said Chugdhar, 52, had died in a detention centre in Kardze where the other four were also being held at that time.
“Chugdhar was a healthy person, but he was brutally tortured in prison until he died. His family was summoned by Chinese authorities on Aug. 26, and they informed him that his death was sudden. They told the family to collect his body from the prison,” the first source was quoted as saying.
Chinese police were stated to have denied having tortured him to death. They got his family to take away his body after promising to pay them 100,000 yuan (over US$ 14,000] and an additional 10,000 per year afterwards, but did not fulfil these promises.
Meanwhile, the other four Tibetans were stated to have been moved to a prison in Kardze County on Aug 31 after being held in Serthar for a week.
They were stated to be undergoing trial, although it was not clear on what charges.