Rungyal Adrak, aged 52, from Yonru Khashi Village, Ponkhog in Lithang in eastern Tibet, was arrested on August 1 by Chinese authorities after whipping up the crowd to shout in support of the exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama and Tibet’s independence. Mr Adrak openly spoke up about Tibetan political and religious aspirations during the official function of the Chinese Army Day, which coincided with the popular Lithang Horse Racing festival held every first week of August. (Phayul.com)
BEIJING -- Authorities in western China have charged a Tibetan man with subversion for calling for the Dalai Lama's return, a rights monitoring group reported Tuesday.
Runggye Adak, 52, was arrested Aug. 1 after taking the microphone at a gathering marking Chinese Army Day and exhorting a crowd of several hundred, mainly Tibetans, to demand the return of the exiled Buddhist leader.
Prosecutors in Sichuan province's Lithang region on Monday indicted him on the charge of "provocation to subvert state power," the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said. China often uses vaguely defined subversion laws to punish government critics, sometimes with long prison sentences.
The indictment comes as China's human rights record faces growing scrutiny ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. China's communist leaders have said that staging the Olympics would be a boost to human rights protections in China, and have lifted some restrictions on foreign media through the Olympics. However, rights monitoring groups say there has been no letup in the persecution of activists or relaxation of media controls.
Runggye Adak's outburst, which prompted clashes between Tibetans demanding his release and security forces, has been labeled a "major political incident" by China's central government, which has ordered hundreds of local government and Communist Party officials to attend meetings to condemn it and strengthen law enforcement.
Other monitoring groups say additional riot troops have been ordered into the traditionally Tibetan area, which remained tense for several days after the clashes in which at least three Tibetans were badly injured.
The prosecutors' office had no listed number and calls to three different numbers for local police rang unanswered. The official Xinhua News Agency earlier reported Runggye Adak had been arrested for "inciting the separation of nationalities" after he shouted "Tibetan independence."
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India in 1959 amid a failed uprising against Chinese rule. He remains highly popular among Tibetans, despite persistent efforts to demonize him by Chinese authorities.
China claims Tibet has been its territory for centuries, but many Tibetans say they were effectively independent for most of that period.Related articles on Phayul:
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