Remembering the fearless ‘ghost’ Tenzin Choedrak (1981-2014)

Tenzin Choedak

Tenzin Choedak

Tenzin Choedrak, a Tibetan social activist died two days after his release from prison at the age of 34. He was serving a 15-year prison term for acting as a ringleader of the March 2008 protests in Lhasa, Tibet [1].

When he was returned to his family, Choedak had dislocated jawbones and damaged kidneys. He was physically emaciated and vomiting blood because of a brain injury. All the bones in his feet were broken. This suggests that he may have been subjected to the falaka, or foot whipping, torture technique. The falaka involves beating the sole’s of the victim’s feet with a heavy cable or whatever else is available. It causes extreme pain up the victim’s body and the feet to swell. The technique was used in the PRC, the Middle East, and Romania.[2] [Read more…]

Tibetan university student detained for blogging on self-immolation

Meu Soepa

Meu Soepa

Chinese authorities have arbitrarily detained a Tibetan university student who is also an active blogger on issues sensitive for the Chinese government such as self-immolation, according to information received by TCHRD.

Meu Soepa, 21, a student of literature at Northwest University for Nationalities in Lanzhou was detained at about 4 pm on 27 December by a group of officers from the Ngaba County Stability Maintenance Office and Public Security Bureau (PSB) in Meuruma town in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.
[Read more…]

Two monks detained, many others beaten and detained in Ngaba

Losang Trinley was detained for peaceful protest

Losang Trinley was detained for peaceful protest

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) has been informed by a reliable source that Chinese paramilitary forces detained a monk for staging peaceful protest and detained another for unknown reasons in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

Losang Trinley, about 21, a monk from the local Kirti Monastery was beaten up and detained from the main road in Ngaba County shortly after about 4 pm on 26 December, after he carried a portrait of the Dalai Lama draped in Tibetan national flag on his forehead and shouted slogans such as “May the Dalai Lama live for hundreds of years” and “Tibet needs freedom”. The peaceful protest lasted for some minutes before paramilitary police arrived on the scene and took the monk away. [Read more…]

Monk dies of self-immolation calling for Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet

Kelsang Yeshi

Kelsang Yeshi

Exile Tibetan media have reported yet another self-immolation yesterday of a monk in Tawu (Ch: Daofu) County in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in the Tibetan province of Kham.

Kelsang Yeshi, 38, a monk at Tawu Nyatso Monastery and a social activist set himself ablaze at around 11.20 am (local time) on 23 December before the entrance gate of a police station inside the monastery compounds. The monk who had studied in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in south India called for “the return of Dalai Lama to Tibet” and “freedom for Tibetans” as he set his body on fire.  [Read more…]

Tibetan woman, 19, dies of self-immolation: Police detain family members

Tsepey, 19, died after setting herself alight at Meuruma Township in Ngaba County.

Tsepey, 19, died after setting herself alight at Meuruma Township in Ngaba County.

A Tibetan nomad woman died of self-immolation protest yesterday evening in Meuruma Township in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) has been informed by a reliable source that Tsepey, 19, died soon after setting herself alight shortly after 4 pm (local time) on 22 December. Tsepey died instantly on the main road in Meuruma Township, the site of her self-immolation protest, but police took away her body by force. [Read more…]

Tibetan man dies of self-immolation in front of Chinese police station

Sangye Khar (Source: Tibet Times)

Sangye Khar (Source: Tibet Times)

A Tibetan man set himself alight to protest Chinese government this week at Amchok (Ch: Amuqu) Township in Sangchu ( Ch: Xiahe) County in Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

According to reports published in exile media, the self-immolation protest was staged by a Tibetan father of two, Sangye Khar, 34, at 9 am (local time) in front of the loca Public Security Bureau office at Amchok Township.  Sangye Khar chose to self-immolate on 16 December, coinciding with the death anniversary of Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.  [Read more…]

Extrajudicial killing, arbitrary detention and religious repression continue in restive Tibetan county

Senior Buddhist scholar Geshe Ngawang Jamyang was beaten to death in police custody less than a month after his arrest in December 2013 in Diru County.

Senior Buddhist scholar Geshe Ngawang Jamyang was beaten to death in police custody less than a month after his arrest in December 2013 in Diru County.

Latest information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) demonstrates escalating violence and crackdowns including extrajudicial killing and arbitrary detentions in Diru (Ch: Biru) County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), in the eastern Tibetan province of Kham.

A source with contacts in Tibet informed TCHRD that a popular and respected village headman became a victim of extrajudicial killings on 21 November on the orders of the local Communist Party authorities. Bachen Gyewa aka Ngawang Monlam, the headman of Ushung Village in Gyashoe Yangshok Township (also known as Sentsa Township) in Diru County was removed from his post, arrested and then killed on the orders of the secretary of the Diru County Party Committee.

The exact circumstances of his death remain unclear but it appears that Bachen Gyewa posed a formidable challenge to the Chinese government’s ongoing ‘stability maintenance’ measures that have been implemented since late 2011.[i] It did not help either that the late village headman was a former monk at the local Pekar Monastery which has witnessed sporadic yet intense demonstration against new religious measures implemented by the Chinese government. [Read more…]

‘EVERYDAY IS HUMAN RIGHTS DAY’: TCHRD observes World Human Rights Day

Cover of TCHRD's Special Report on Right to Edication in Tibet

Cover of TCHRD’s Special Report on Right to Education in Tibet

Sixty-six years ago, on 10 December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a fundamental part of the international human rights system and, along with the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, is part of the international bill of human rights. Since 1950, every people and countries across the world have commemorated 10 December as Human Rights Day.

‘Human Rights-365’ is the theme of Human Rights Day this year. ‘Human Rights-365’ recognizes that human rights must be protected and defended every day. [Read more…]

Former Tibetan social activist serving 15 years’ sentence dead after less than 6 years in prison

Former social activist Tenzin Choedak died while still serving his prison sentence in Lhasa.

Former social activist Tenzin Choedak died while still serving his prison sentence in Lhasa.

According to reliable information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), a Tibetan political prisoner serving a 15-year prison sentence died yesterday afternoon on 5 December. He was less than six years into his prison term in Chushur Prison near Lhasa city. His death confirms criticisms from human rights groups that torture and inhumane treatment is common in Chinese prisons in Tibet.

Tenzin Choedak, also known as Tenchoe, died just two days after he was released to his family by prison authorities. He died at Mentsekhang, the traditional Tibetan medical institute in Lhasa city, hours after his family admitted him there. Tenzin Choedak had previously worked for a European NGO affiliated to the Red Cross.

[Read more…]

Two Tibetan artists receive harsh sentences, severe fines for creation of Tibetan music

Singer Kelsang Yarphel sentenced to four years in prison

Singer Kelsang Yarphel sentenced to four years in prison

Two prominent members of the Tibetan folk music industry have been given harsh prison sentences and heavy fines for their involvement in the making of Tibetan folk music in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, according to sources in Tibet.

On 27 November, well-known folk singer and music producer Pema Rigzin and famed singer Kelsang Yarphel were sentenced together to lengthy prison sentences and given severe fines by the Intermediate People’s Court in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

Pema Rigzin, 44, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison and a severe fine of 50,000 yuan for composing, releasing, and distributing music with alleged political overtones. Rigzin was detained on 7 May 2013 in Chengdu city, and held incommunicado until the 27 November trial. Though family members were allowed to attend the trial, they were barred by authorities from hiring Rigzin a lawyer. [Read more…]