(TibetanReview.net, Apr27’21) – Authorities in Machen (Chinese: Maqin) County of Golog (Guoluo) Prefecture, Qinghai Province, had arrested two Tibetan men for the allegedly criminal offence of exchanging messages online with fellow-Tibetans outside Chinese-controlled territory, said London-based campaign group Free Tibet Apr 26, citing its research partner Tibet Watch.
The group said Samten Sangpo and Tsultrim were arrested on Apr 16 for their online chat on the WeChat forum in the traditionally Tibetan area which is now part of the People’s Republic of China. There were no further details about the two men.
The group said the news of their arrests emerged as Chinese authorities had, in recent months, raised the level of their monitoring of local Tibetans who are known to have friends and relatives living in exile. Public warning had been issued, telling Tibetans to refrain from contacting exiles, with offering of cash and other rewards for those who report others doing so.
Earlier this year, three Tibetan teenagers were arrested in Qinghai for failing to report to local authorities their setting up of a WeChat group. While there has been in information about two of them after their arrests, the third appeared in a hospital located hundreds of miles away with two broken legs, the group said.
The increased restrictions are meant to prevent information about human rights abuses against Tibetans reaching the outside world, the group said.