By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, July 12: The Tibetan filmmaker currently under treatment at the Xining City Hospital in Eastern Tibet has posted a statement yesterday (July 11) on Wiebo (China’s equivalent of Twitter) for the first time following news of his arrest and beatings by police shook the film fraternity in China and the outside world.
Known for his films such as 'Old Dog' and 'Tharlo', Pema Tseden was arrested on June 25 at the Qinghai Airport and subsequently beaten and interrogated at the detention center in Xining city leading to the medical emergency that saw the Tibetan Director being rushed to hospital late in the night.
According to a post in Chinese reportedly written by his friend, 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 Tibetan filmmaker in his statement on Weibo account in both Tibetan and Chinese explained his plight, urging for a “clear investigation” surrounding his arrest and treatment.
A translation of his statement by the 'high peaks pure earth' sternly urged for formal investigation even at the risk of further detention. He wrote, “I apologize. Will the authorities investigate the incident? It has been 17 days since the incident happened. Since the incident, I have one wish, the incident must be made clear and investigated. Even if I have to return to detention, my wish for an investigation will remain unchanged. It is my wish that authorities provide immediate and speedy clarification regarding the incident.”
“At the time being I am staying at a government approved hospital. I am going through all sorts of oxygen mask and injection treatments, and my condition has slightly improved. I am unable to respond to messages because of the special circumstances. I apologize. I thank from my heart, all those who have shown concern for my situation,” he further wrote. A photo of him on an IV drip in the hospital was also posted along with the post by Pema Tseden.
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.