-By International Campaign for Tibet
In recent weeks, the detentions of six Tibetans have come to light, among them writers and intellectuals. Of these, four are known to be either in detention or sentenced to prison terms for freely expressing their opinions and thoughts on Tibetan national identity and culture. Two are in detention after Chinese security personnel searched their phones.
Chinese authorities in Tibet routinely detain Tibetans for “endangering state security” for expressing their genuine opinions, thoughts and beliefs that are out of alignment with the Chinese state narrative on history, culture, people and politics. Criminal charges of “inciting separatism,” “leaking state secrets” and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” are leveled against the Tibetans who express their ideas taking pride in their culture and beliefs.
In a long list of detentions and sentencing of intellectuals like Go Sherab Gyatso, Rinchen Tsultrim and Lobsang Lhundup, four more writers—Thupten Lodoe, Rongwo Gendun Lhundup, Rongwo Gangkar and Nyima—are known to have been either detained or sentenced for expressing their opinions and thoughts. Although not known to have published publicly, Topgha and Sardak are believed to have been detained for expressing their opinions via their phones. China’s technological surveillance infrastructure in Tibet for censorship monitors for words and terms that the authorities deem as challenging the state.
The International Campaign for Tibet is deeply concerned about the reported detentions of Tibetan writers and intellectuals, who apparently are persecuted solely for their peaceful expression of thought and opinion. The detentions contribute to a pattern according to which the Chinese state represses any independent cultural expression of Tibetans.
Following are the details of the detainees that have come to light despite the extreme communication challenges and risks faced by Tibetans in Tibet when interacting with the outside world. ICT will continue to monitor these cases and search further information if possible. Click here to read more.