(TibetanReview.net, Apr03, 2015) – Chinese police in Sog (Chinese: Suo) County of Nagchu (Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, have taken away three more monks from a local monastery on Mar 28, bringing the total known detentions from it in a similar manner since Mar 14 to 12. A layman was also taken away, reported Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington) Apr 1. As in the previous detentions, the authorities have not given any reason for the detentions.
The three – named as Jigme Wangyal, Choeying Choega, and Choephel Dawa – were taken away from Tsenden Monastery at night, as in the case of the preceding eight detentions. All three were originally from the county’s Yakla Township. The layman was named as Dorje Dakpa.
Before them, the Chinese police had taken away Lobsang Dawa, 38, in the night of Mar 20. He originally belonged to Bechen Village in the county’s Rawak Township and was in charge of the maintenance of the monastery’s buildings. Dharamshala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said Mar 26 that the monk was believed to have kept banned contents on his mobile messaging service.
RFA had also reported Mar 17 that seven monks – named as Namgyal Tsultrim, Lodoe Tenzin, Tsultrim Gongji, Tsultrim Namgyal, Thabkey Lhundup, Jigme Tsultrim, and Jigme Drakpa –had been taken away from Tsenden Monastery by police on Mar 17 night. In their cases too, it was assumed that the authorities suspected them of having sent to outside contacts information, including pictures, which they considered anti-China.
Among the latest detainees, Choephel Dawa, 27, had previously served a two-year prison sentence after being arrested for unknown charges on Jan 15, 2012.
And among those detained on Mar 17, Namgyal Tsultrim had previously been detained two times. The first was for seven days in 2011 when the authorities suspected him of maintaining contacts with people outside the region. He was again taken into custody on Oct 6, 2012 and held at the Nagchu detention centre for five months and later transferred to Toelung prison where he was held for another three months.
The whereabouts of all 12 remain unknown.