Golok Jigme Gyatso in a file photo.
DHARAMSHALA, November 5: Tibetan monk Golog Jigme Gyatso, who assisted film maker Dhondup Wangchen in secretly shooting his documentary film “Leaving Fear Behind,” has been rearrested by Chinese authorities.
Fears over his arrest were expressed last September when he disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
Speaking to Phayul, Serta Tsultrim Woeser, a Tibetan living in south India, confirmed that Golog Jigme has been rearrested by Chinese security personnel when he was returning back from Lanzhou to Tsoe in Amdo, Tibet on September 20.
Reasons for his rearrest are not known.
Earlier that month, Chinese authorities had ordered Gyatso to vacate his monastery quarters and then razed it to the ground.
“On September 5, local Chinese authorities ordered Gyatso to move out from his monastery quarters in order to carry out renovation work,” Woeser said. “But right after Gyatso left his quarters, Chinese authorities brought heavy machinery and razed his house to the ground.”
Earlier in October, the New York based media rights watchdog, Committee to Protect Journalists had expressed concern over a Gyatso’s disappearance.
"We are concerned about the whereabouts of Jigme Gyatso, who has been harassed and detained in the past for making a film," said Bob Dietz, CPJ Asia program coordinator said. "All too often, Tibetan journalists are detained without due process, and Gyatso's disappearance is a reminder that even if they are freed, the fear of re-arrest is constant."
Gyatso was first arrested in March 2008 from Labrang Tashi Khyil and was detained for seven months during which he was brutally tortured and beaten up.
He was again rearrested in March 2009, during which he was kept in custody for about 40 days. Since then, he has been arrested many times.
Gyatso had assisted Dhondup Wangchen in secretly shooting his documentary film “Leaving Fear Behind” that shed light on the lives of Tibetans in China in the run-up to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
The film, featuring a series of interviews with Tibetans talking about how China had destroyed the Tibetan culture, violated religious freedom and their undying reverence for the exiled leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, was smuggled out of Tibet and later released worldwide.
Dhondup Wangchen, who is serving a six-year prison sentence for making the film, has been named as one of the winners of CPJ’s 2012 International Press Freedom Awards, an annual recognition of courageous reporting.
Jigme Gyatso was born in 1969 in Golog Serta, in the Kardze region of Kham.