China said to be starving, ill-treating Tibetans held for violating linguistic and other bans

Representational Image.

(, Sep16’21) – China is denying proper food, clothing, and medical care to the more than 120 Tibetans held by it over a period of time since last month in the historically Tibetan area of what is now part of China’s Sichuan province for violating its ban on Tibetan language promotion or teaching or for other rights-violating bans, leaving many in poor health, said the Tibetan Service of Sep16.

Citing Tibetan sources, the report said at least 121 residents of Dza Wonpo township in Sershul (Chinese: Shiqu) County of Karze (Ganzi) Prefecture had been arrested during the last three weeks amid a crackdown by authorities on language rights and possession of banned images of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

It said many of the arrested Tibetans were members of a local group promoting the use of Tibetan language.

China has made Mandarin Chinese the mandatory language for teaching all subjects in schools and higher educational institutions and launched a crackdown on those promoting Tibetan language and culture envisaged by President Xi Jinping’s Sinicization call.

“Although there are many groups that work toward the preservation of the Tibetan language, the Chinese authorities are mainly focused this time on one of these groups, called the Association for the Preservation of the Tibetan Language,” the report quoted a source as saying, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Apart from being put on a starvation diet and denied proper care, the arrested Tibetans “are … being interrogated every day and … given political re-education sessions in the prison,” the source was quoted as saying.

The source has named a woman named Kardon as one of those held for contacting Tibetans living in exile and who was being denied medical attention after she suffered a sudden illness.

The report cited sources as having identified eighteen of the detainees by their names: Soepa, Lobsang Choezin, Pendo, Pelkyab, Tsangpa, Choe Lhamo, Kardon, Loden Chunglam, Tenzin Losel, Losher, Choechok, Gaden, Sherab, Jampel, Dolo, Choepa, Sonam Galek, and Tamdin Norbu.


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