By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Apr. 19: Four Tibetans were detained and interrogated by the local police in Dzato County last month for burning incense and praying on a mountain, according to London-based organization Free Tibet. The detainees took part in routine Tibetan ritual on March 11, climbing up a mountain to burn incense and pray.
The Chinese police reportedly came to their home in Atod Township, and detained the four Tibetans and interrogated them. Thubten Phuntsok, one of the detainees, was held back whereas the other three appear to have been released according to the report.
Free Tibet also said that in addition to the detention, the police confiscated their identity cards and checked their phones to see whether their WeChat accounts were registered or not. In another incident on Feb. 17, two Tibetan teenagers were imprisoned and another hospitalized after being brutally tortured and both legs broken for failure of registering a WeChat group with the local authority.
The parents and relatives of the four detained Tibetans were given a stern warning for any further activities, and were told that they will be held responsible if the same thing is repeated again. The report indicated that similar to other areas in Tibet, Tibetans are under heavy surveillance and authorities have offered incentive of large sums of money to spy on fellow Tibetans.