China urged to release Tibetan monk held incommunicado for online views since Aug’19

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Rinchen Tsultrim. (Photo courtesy: CTA)

(TibetanReview.net, Dec03’20) – In a rare instances of specific instances of information about human rights situation in Chinese ruled Tibet reaching the outside world even belatedly, a 29-year-old monk has reportedly remained disappeared after being arrested over a year ago for posting his opinions on Tibetan issues on a popular Chinese social media platform.

Rinchen Tsultrim (Chinese Pinyin: Renqing Chizhen) faces accusations of “suspected incitement to split the country,” said Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet Dec 2.

The group said he was arrested by the Ngaba (Aba) County Public Security Bureau, Sichuan Province, on Aug 1 last year at a place in the county called Kardo. There has been no information about him ever since.

The monk was stated to have expressed his thoughts on a range of Tibetan political, social and cultural issues on his personal and group chat forums on the popular Chinese WeChat app.

An “inquiry notice” issued by the Ngaba County National Security Bureau, summoning a Tibetan for police inquiry at the Barma (Ch: Waerma) Township police station, was reported to have stated that Rinchen was suspected of separatism.

Such an accusation typically attracts conviction for “endangering national security.”

Two other Tibetans taken away with Rinchen were stated to have been released later on.

Authorities were reported to have told his family on some occasions that he was being detained in the prefectural capital Barkham County, but in the provincial capital Chengdu at other times. Family members were reportedly told to leave supplies for the disappeared monk with them to be passed on to him via their offices.

Authorities had censored, suspended and eventually shut down his WeChat accounts.

Besides, a two-hour telephone conversation the monk had with a Tibetan living abroad on Apr 25, 2019, the birthday of the disappeared Tibetan Buddhist leader the Panchen Lama, had been monitored and recorded by the authorities. His distribution to remote areas of Tibet, via the post office, of a scripture he had obtained from abroad had also been monitored, the group said.

Born at Kashul Village, a 15-minute drive from Ngaba County, to Tashi Dhondup (father) and Tsomo (mother) of the Nyerwa-tsang family, Rinchen Tsultrim, one of five siblings, had joined Nangshik (Langyi) Monastery, the largest Bon religion monastery in Ngaba County, when he was six years old.

The group has called for information on the whereabouts and immediate release of the monk, who is being held incommunicado solely for expressing his views peacefully.

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