By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, May 19: Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) urged Chinese authorities to release and reveal information on two Tibetan men who went missing last year after they were detained for refusing to partake in “coercive political re-education campaigns” in Tachen Township in Nagchu County, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), and in Shak Ronpo area in Kham province. The detainees, Lhadar and Norsang, were taken into custody in separate incidents when mass political re-education campaigns were underway to ensure that celebrations for the 70th founding anniversary of Chinese Party-state went undisturbed.
Lhadar, 37, has not been seen since he was detained on Oct. 8 last year. His friends and family suspect that he was taken by the police on the suspicion of sharing information with outsiders. Lhadar reportedly received a phone call from local police a month before his detention to warn him against travelling before or during the 70th-anniversary celebrations. TCHRD said it is a standard practice by police to issue warnings to former political detainees during occasions deemed politically sensitive by China.
Norsang, aged 36 and a resident of Sabah village, was detained at the end of September last year along with five others. All the other five men had been released but Norsang’s condition remains unknown. Chinese authorities organized numerous public performances during the run-up to the anniversary where local Tibetans were required to hold Chinese national flags and sing “red songs” in praise of the Communist Party.
Norsang had refused to attend the mass patriotic campaign. The report claimed that he was held at the township detention centre but the authorities have denied family members to visit him or help him with food and other necessities. The local police also warned the family that more requests for a visit could cost a heavier sentence for Norsang.
Dharamshala based Tibetan rights group called for an end to the coercive mechanism of political indoctrination and to release all political detainees who were only exercising their rights. “The enforced disappearance of Lhadar and Norsang violates various domestic and international legal standards. Chinese authorities must cease persecuting Tibetans and violating their human rights to further its political agenda of preserving regime security and colonial policies,” read the statement.