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Tibetans arrested for links with self-immolations PDF Print E-mail
[5 November 2012] The Chinese government has arbitrarily arrested at least 11 Tibetans in recent weeks for allegedly assisting with self-immolations or for spreading news of the protests. Reports of the arrests come as the number of self-immolations has risen dramatically, seemingly due to the upcoming National Congress in Beijing which is expected to unveil China's new leaders.

Four Dokay monks arrested I Four Tsoe monks arrested I Three arrests in Trido

Four Dokay monks arrested in connection with self-immolation
Chinese authorities have arrested four monks from Dokay monastery in connection with the self-immolation of Sangay Gyatso on 6 October. Their whereabouts and condition are not known.

Sangay GyatsoOn 6 October, Sangay Gyatso (pictured right) died after setting fire to himself in the grounds of Dokar monastery, Tsoe (Chinese: Hezuo) county, Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) prefecture, Amdo (now part of China's Gansu province). Monks took Sangay's body to his home for a traditional funeral rituals.

According to source quoted by Radio Free Asia, "a huge contingent of armed police" arrived at Dokar monastery on 17 October and arrested Jigme Gyatso, Kalsang Gyatso and Kunchok Gyatso. A fourth monk, Tashi Gyatso, had been detained a few days earlier. The source said the four "were detained for their involvement in taking care of the body of Sangay Gyatso, and taking photos of the body".

Since Sangay's self-immolation, the monastery has been under strict surveillance and the resident monks interrogated.

Further reading: RFA I Phayul I Take Action

Four Tsoe monks arrested for sharing self-immolation information
Four monks from Tsoe monastery (pictured below left, under recent lockdown) in Kanlho, north-eastern Tibet have been arrested for sharing information about recent self-immolations.

Tamdin DorjeeOn 14 October, three Tsoe monks, Tenzin Tsundu, Losel and Topden, were arrested by Chinese security forces on charges of allegedly sending details of self-immolation protests to outside sources. The arrests were made the day after the self-immolation of Tamdin Dorjee (pictured right), the grandfather of the 7th Gunthang Rinpoche, one of the most revered religious leaders in the region. Tamdin Dorjee's protest took place at Tsoe monastery and the monks recovered his body, returned it to his home and conducted traditional rituals.

Tsoe monastery under lockdownA fourth Tsoe monk, Lobsang Choephel, is also reported to have been arrested. Lobsang Choephel had previously been detained following the self-immolation of Dolkar Tso on 7 August. He was released but has been re-arrested, apparently on charges of sharing information about self-immolation protests. It is not clear when Lobsang was re-arrested.

The whereabouts and condition of all four monks are not known.

Further reading: Phayul Take Action

Three Tibetans arrested for possible self-immolation links
On 26 October, Chinese security personnel arrested three Tibetans, two monks and a layman, on unknown charges in Trido, Sog (Ch: Suo) county, Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) prefecture, Kham (the area is now part of China's Tibet Autonomous Region). It is possible that it is in connection with the joint self-immolations of Tsepo and Tenzin which took place in nearby Driru the day before.

The three were identified as Thubten Nyendak (34), and Tsewang (24), both monks from Drilda monastery and Phurbu (27), a layman. A source quoted by Phayul said that though no reason has been given for their arrest, it is believed either to be in connection with the self-immolations or with a pro-independence protest at Drilda monastery in December 2011. The source added that there has been an increased military presence in the region since the self-immolations and Drilda monastery has been placed under constant surveillance.

Further reading: PhayulTake Action

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