-Filed by UN, EU & Human Rights Desk, DIIR
Three monks from Tibet’s Amdo Ngaba region, incorporated into the Chinese province of Sichuan, have disappeared after they were arrested by Chinese authorities in separate incidents. The authorities in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) have sentenced one of the three Tibetan monks to four years imprisonment while the other two are held in incommunicado detention.
Lobsang Thapke, aged around 37, was sentenced last month around 30 July. He was arrested sometime last year but details of his charges or wellbeing are not known, according to Kanyag Tsering and Lobsang Yeshe from the Dharamshala branch of Kirti Monastery in India. Lobsang Thapke, son of Lokho from upper Gongma area in Ngaba, joined Kirti Monastery at a young age. He was in the third batch of graduates from the Buddhist Youth School which was later closed down by the Chinese government.
Two arrested and disappeared
In separate incidents, two other monks from Ngaba have disappeared since they were detained by Chinese authorities, according to the same source.
32-year-old Thubpa from Trotsik Monastery was taken by police at night from his monastery around the end of 2017. Since then, there has been no information about his whereabouts or condition. Thubpa is the son of Kalsang from Garwatsang in Trotsik Thangwama, who was arrested and imprisoned for protesting and raising slogans against Chinese rule on 16 March 2011. Exactly three years before his father’s protest, during the 2008 pan-Tibet peaceful protests, Thubpa himself staged a protest and burnt the Chinese national flag on 16 March for which he was sentenced to a year and a half in prison.
The third monk, Lobsang Dorje from Kirti Monastery, aged around 36, was detained sometime around August in 2018. Like Thubpa, Lobsang Dorje was also taken away at night from his room at Kirti Monastery. A former Tibetan political prisoner, Lobsang Dorje was sentenced in 2011 and served three years in jail. His father’s name is Sangri and is from Chukle Gabma in Ngaba county.
“The well-being and the whereabouts of the three Tibetan monks from Ngaba are concerning as reports of torture while in detention and deaths due to torture injuries is prevalent in Chinese jails. Just this April and May, within two months’ time, deaths of three Tibetans due to torture related illness and injuries were reported”, remarked Dukthen Kyi, head of the UN, EU & Human Rights Desk, DIIR, Central Tibetan Administration.
Information about the three Tibetan monks’ disappearances and sentence of one was received outside Tibet despite strict surveillance and massive clampdown in Ngaba region. Reports of Tibetans in Ngaba staging political protests, including peaceful solo protests have been frequently recorded. Of the 153 self-immolation protests against China’s rule in Tibet, more than a third took place in Ngaba region of Tibet.