Freedom of peaceful assembly under attack: Tibetan monk detained for non-violent protest

Gedun Phuntsok

Gedun Phuntsok

A teenage Tibetan monk has become the latest target of China’s consistent and systematic attacks on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in Tibet.

Gedun Phuntsok, 18, a monk from Kirti Monastery in Ngaba County was detained on 8 March for staging a peaceful protest calling for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and for “freedom and equality” in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture (Sichuan Province), in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

The solo protest occurred at about 1.30 pm (local time) in Ngaba County town where on the main road, Gedun Phuntsok walked carrying a huge portrait of the Dalai Lama draped in a yellow khatag (Tibetan ceremonial scarf) on his head and shouted slogans such as “Let His Holiness the Dalai Lama return to Tibet” and “Freedom and equality for Tibet”, according to a source with close contacts in Tibet. [Read more…]

Tibetan mother dies in self-immolation protest: Body quickly cremated for fear of seizure by police

Norchug died of self-immolation protest in Ngaba County

Norchug died of self-immolation protest in Ngaba County

A mother of three died of self-immolation protest and was cremated in rush for fear of the body’s seizure by local Chinese police in Tibet.

Norchug, 47, set herself alight in protest and died on the evening of 5 March which coincided with Chotrul Duechen (Butter Lamp Festival), one of the four Tibetan Buddhist festivals commemorating the events in the life of the Buddha, a source with contacts in Tibet informed TCHRD.

“Norchug staged the peaceful protest of self-immolation against repressive policies of the Chinese government and to call for religious and political freedoms for Tibetan people,” the source told TCHRD. [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.
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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…]

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…]

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…]

Two Tibetan men released after serving prison for 2008 protests

Local Tibetans welcome Woeden in his hometown after his release.

Local Tibetans welcome Woeden in his hometown after his release.

Two Tibetan men, Woeden and Lobsang Gyatso, were released after serving prison for their participation in 2008 uprising in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, according to information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

In March 2008, a series of protests rocked many parts of the Tibetan plateau with a large chunk of protests concentrated in Ngaba area. Among them was A’khyam Township located in the lower part of Ngaba County (Tib: Ngamey), where local Tibetans staged a major protest on 22 March 2008.

Woeden and Lobsang Gyatso, both of whom belonged to A’khyam Township, took part in the protest and were detained the same day by local police. Both men were sentenced on 24 June 2008 by the Intermediate People’s Court in Barkham, capital of Ngaba Prefecture, and imprisoned at Mianyang Prison, located in Wujia Township in Mianyang Prefecture near Chengdu.  [Read more…]

Tibetan writers Jangtse Donkho and Buddha released from prison

“The greatest mental suffering of Tibetans is not that there is no place to complain about their sufferings but that they are not allowed to complain.”

~ Nyen

Jangtse Donkho

Jangtse Donkho aka Nyen

Two Tibetan writers, Jangtse Donkho (pen name: Nyen/“The Wrathful”) and Buddha were released earlier today on 20 June 2014 after serving four years in Mianyang Prison in Sichuan Province.

Jangtse Donkho was arrested on 21 June 2011 from his home in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County and accused of writing a “reactionary” essay entitled ‘What Human Rights Do We Have Over Our Bodies?’ which commented on the Chinese government’s bloody suppression of the 2008 Uprising. The essay was published in the Shar Dungri (Eastern Snow Mountain) literary journal, which was later banned. Jangtse Donkho was 33 at the time of his arrest. Before his arrest, he was working as a researcher at Kyungchu (Ch: Qiongxi) town, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. Donkho wrote the book Rolang (Eng: ‘Zombie’) and along with Buddha, edited a few more journals including Du Rab Kyi Nga (Eng: ‘Consciousness of the Century’).

Buddha is a writer, poet, and medical doctor whose work is regarded as influential in Tibetan society. He was detained on 26 June 2011 at the hospital where he worked in Ngaba County town. He was 34 at the time. [Read more…]

Roar of the Snow Lion: Tibetan writer Tashi Rabten released after 4 years in prison

Tashi Rabten aka Theurang

Tashi Rabten aka Theurang

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) welcomes the release of writer Tashi Rabten, also known as Theurang, who served four years at Mianyang Prison in Sichuan Province. He was sentenced on charges of “inciting activities to split the nation” by the Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Intermediate People’s Court on 2 June 2011.

Tashi Rabten was a student at the Northwest Nationalities University in Lanzhou, Gansu Province. He went missing on 26 July 2009, when the university closed for summer vacation. His whereabouts remained unknown until 6 April 2010 when he was traced to a detention center in Ngaba’s Barkham County.

The sentencing of Tashi Rabten violated, among others, article 19 of the United Nation’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which calls for the protection of freedom of expression. China signed the ICCPR in 1998 and since then it has dragged its feet on ratifying the covenant despite numerous recommendations from UN member states during China’s first and second Universal Periodic Review in 2009 and 2013 respectively.  [Read more…]

Monk calls for love and harmony to prevail in last note before self-immolation

Lobsang Palden's whereabouts and condition remain unknown after his self-immolation

Lobsang Palden’s whereabouts and condition remain unknown after his self-immolation

A monk from Kirti Monastery has become the 128th Tibetan to carry out self-immolation protest against Chinese government’s repressive policies in Tibet since 2009. In his last note, Lobsang Palden, 20, has called for love and harmony to prevail over hatred and repression:

“[Y]ou should be able to [live in] harmony with your neighbors – people of the world in general and the Chinese in particular. This is because, if there is love and harmony, we will be able to air our views, no matter what they are and to whom we want to air them.”

Lobsang Palden, a monk from Kirti Monastery in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County in Tibet’s northeastern province of Amdo self-immolated on 16 March 2014 at around 11:40 am, according to sources from inside Tibet.

The self-immolation occurred at ‘Martyrs’ Street’, which was named so by locals after a series of self-immolation protests was staged on this stretch of the road in Ngaba town. [Read more…]