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Leading Tibetan entertainment figure reported arrested

www.TibetanReview.net, May 2, 2008
Plainclothes state security officers were reported to have taken away for interrogation Jamyang Kyi, a leading Tibetan writer, television producer, and performer, from her office at the state-owned Qinghai TV in Xining on Apr 1, reported Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington, DC) Apr 15. guardian.co.uk Apr 16 said her husband had not seen her since Apr 7.

RFA cited an authoritative source in Beijing as saying she had been formally arrested by the Xining Public Security Bureau, although the charges against her remain unknown. In China, a formal arrest almost always precedes a conviction. “Security people went to Jamyang Kyi’s house to search her computer, her mailing list, and contact numbers and took all these away,” the report quoted another source in Xining as saying.

The report said security services had been questioning large numbers of Tibetans who had travelled internationally. Kyi had performed alongside exiles in overseas concerts, but had not been known for any actions and comments that could be deemed to support freedom or autonomy for Tibet.

Kyi, 42, has worked as a producer in the Tibetan-language section of state-run Qinghai TV for two decades. She is well known among Tibetans as an activist on women’s issues. She toured the United States to sing and lecture in 2006.

The report said her blog, at www.tibetabc.cn/user1/jamyangkyi/index.html, was popular among young, computer-savvy Tibetans, although she stopped updating it several months before anti-China protests erupted in Lhasa in mid-March and spread to other regions.

Born in Mangra (Chinese: Guinan) county in Qinghai province, Kyi is also a singer and songwriter and has released several well-received albums: “Prayer,” a music CD, and two video CDs, “Distant Lover” and “Karma.” Her music comprises elements of both modern pop and traditional folk music from all areas of Tibet.

The Associated Press Apr 16 said Kyi’s husband Lamao Jia, who works at Qinghai TV’s entertainment department, did not know who had taken his wife into custody. He was staying home to look after the younger of their two daughters, declining to elaborate. The report cited a staff member at Qinghai TV’s Tibetan language department as saying he had heard the week before that Kyi had asked for leave.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders Apr 17 urged the EU to take up the issue of Kyi’s disappearance with Beijing.

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