-By Free Tibet
Palsang allegedly posted criticism of China’s increasingly tight restrictions on the Tibetan language.
Tibet Watch has learned of the arrest of a Tibetan man in eastern Tibet in November 2021 in connection with posts he made in the messaging app WeChat.
Palsang, a 24 year old man from Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture who works for his family’s business in Darlak County, allegedly posting a text message supporting Tibetan language in a chat group on WeChat.
Soon after posting the message he was forcibly arrested in the middle of the night. He was initially kept in police custody in Darlak county for 15 days and subsequently taken to Xining City. His family have been given no information about his whereabouts and condition.
WeChat is the most popular social media app in China, but is heavily censored and monitored for content deemed “sensitive” by Chinese authorities. Due to this tight online surveillance, many Tibetans have already been arrested for expressing their concerns regarding China’s occupation of Tibet and its tightening restrictions on aspects of Tibetan life including its language.
The restrictions on the Tibetan language are being imposed despite Article 4 of the Chinese Constitution stating that “[a]ll ethnic groups shall have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages and to preserve or reform their own traditions and customs.” They include the publication of a notice by the Ministry of Education of China in July 2021 that stated that from the 2021 autumn semester, all kindergartens in in “minority areas” areas that were not already doing so would be required to use the national standard language for childcare activities. Soon after the announcement, a the renowned Sengdruk Taktse Middle School was forcibly shut down without any official clarification. Rinchen Kyi, one of its longest serving teachers, was arrested in August. Click here to read more.