By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, June 29: The celebrated Tibetan filmmaker of the ‘Old Dog’ and ‘Tharlo’ fame has reportedly been arrested and tortured according to sporadic personal posts in the social media sites. Director Pema Tseden, according to posts in Chinese and Tibetan shared by Voice of America news anchor Tsering Kyi, was arrested on June 25 at the Qinghai Airport and is currently being held at a detention center in Xining city. Pema had flown into Xining from Beijing.
The more alarming aspect of the incident is that Tseden has been taken to the Xining city Hospital late last night apparently for treatment of injuries or emergency of some sorts. The incident has been confirmed by a source, Kyi wrote on her Facebook page.
According to a post in Chinese reportedly written by his fellow friends, Pema was arrested when he was waiting for his baggage at the carousel on June 25. He was interrogated on the night of June 25, and taken to a detention center in Xining on June 26.
“The police interrogated him for the whole night and on the early morning of June 26, forcibly took him to a nearby detention facility and detained him for the reason of disturbing public order. On June 27, during his detention, Pema Tseden had been having vertigo, chest congestion, finger numbness, etc and was later sent to hospital where he is currently receiving medical treatment and further observation,” a statement by Tibetan NGO Gu-Chu Sum said. Tseden has sustained scars and bruises on his body, the statement further mentioned.
Born in 1969 in Gade County, Qinghai Province, Pema studied filmmaking at Beijing Film Academy after his education at the Northwest University for Nationalities. His most renowned works include the critically acclaimed ‘Old Dog’ (2011), ‘The Sacred Arrows’ (2014) and ‘Tharlo’ (2015). Pema is the recipient of the prestigious Golden Rooster Award for Best Directorial Début.
His current condition could not be ascertained.