Family fears for life of Tibetan youth held by China for WeChat photo sharing

Pema Samdup at his college graduation ceremony in Xining in May 2018. (Photo courtesy: TCHRD)

(, Nov12’19) – Chinese authorities continue to keep in dark the family of a Tibetan youth it arrested in Tibet’s capital Lhasa on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising day of Mar 10 this year, said Dharamsala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy Nov12, citing “reliable sources”. The sources have said Pema Samdup, 26, was held for “political reasons” and for “sharing photos on his WeChat account”, although it was not clear what photos.

The centre said that after being held form sometime in Lhasa, he was handed over to the Public Security Bureau (PSB) authorities in Chamdo (Chinese: Qamdo) City, located more than 480 km eastwards.

He was stated to have worked as a clerk at a bar-cum-restaurant in Lhasa for a little over a month at the time of his arrest.

Samdup originally belongs to Khugyu Village in Sertsa Township of Tengchen (Dengqen) County in Chamdo City, which may be why he was transferred there.

His family has neither been notified about his arrest nor allowed to visit him both in Lhasa and Chamdo. On the other hand, his elder brother Kunchok Tsegyal was called for interrogation twice by the Tengchen County PSB in connection with his case, the centre said.

His Ragshitsang family, which includes his three brothers, is said to fear for his life since the police in Chamdo are notorious for using brutal torture methods on political detainees.

Samdup was stated to have graduated from the Gangjong Jigme Sherig Norbu College in Xining city of Qinghai Province in Mar 2018. After completing his four-year course, he returned to his hometown. But unable to find a permanent job, he moved to Lhasa.


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