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UN asks China to account for custodial disappearances of Tibetan writer, musician, teacher

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(TibetanReview.net, Apr20’22) – Six UN human rights experts have issued a joint communication, urging China to account for the arrest, detention and disappearance of Tibetan writer Lobsang Lhundup (known by his penname Dhi Lhaden), musician Lhundrup Drakpa, and teacher Rinchen Kyi, said the Office of Tibet, Geneva, in a Tibet.net report of the Central Tibetan Administration Apr 20. The communication was stated to have been sent in February and made public now.

They were stated to have been presented as specific cases of China’s gross violations of human rights in Tibet.

The report said the UN rights experts had expressed “serious concern” over the repressive actions by China against large numbers of Tibetans for their rightful engagement in the promotion of Tibetan culture, including through education, and actions against Tibetans who were critical of the Chinese rule in Tibet.

They were stated to have asked China to disclose the fate, health status and whereabouts of the abovementioned three persons, including the female teacher.

The experts were stated to have questioned the legal grounds used for the “arrest, detention and conviction” of Lobsang Lhundup and Lhundup Drakpa, asking whether “these measures” were compatible with international human rights norms and standards.

They have also asked China to explain the legal grounds for the arrest and detention of Rinchen Kyi, and how charges of “inciting separatism” against her were “interpreted” and “compatible” with international human rights norms and practices.

Lobsang Lhundup, from Golog Prefecture in Qinghai Province, was arrested in Jun 2019 from a privately-run cultural education center in Chengdu, Sichuan province. He was later jailed for four years in a closed-door trial for allegedly “disturbing social order” in connection with his writings which were critical of the Chinese rule in Tibet and his involvement in teaching Tibetan history.

Lhundrup Drakpa, from Driru County in Nagchu City, Tibet Autonomous Region, was arrested in May 2019 and later jailed for six years for his song “Black Hat”, which contained lyrics critical of repressive Chinese policies in Tibet.

Rinchen Kyi was arrested in Aug 2021 on charge of “inciting separatism” after she held a hunger strike to protest against the forced closure of the Sengdruk Taktse Middle School, a privately managed Tibetan cultural setup, in Darlag County of Golog Prefecture, Qinghai Province, where she taught.

The six UN experts were stated to include the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights; the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, and the special Rapporteur on minority issues.

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