News and Views on Tibet

China detains 8 more Tibetans in Dza Wonpo, tally reaches 121

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Dza Wonpo Town (Photo/CTA)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Sept. 7: Chinese officials have arrested eight more Tibetans from Dza Wonpo township, Sershul County in Kardze Autonomous Prefecture on Sept. 3, according to The eight detainees include six monks from Dza Wonpo Gaden Shedrup monastery and two women from the village. These arrests on Friday are preceded by news of 113 Tibetans who were detained by the Chinese police for possession of photos of the exiled leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The cause of these recent arrests is not certain but an anonymous source told the Tibet Post, “For many years, Tibetans and monks in Wonpo have volunteered to teach Tibetan language to local Tibetans, and there is a group in Wonpo called the ‘Mother Language Protection Group’. The Tibetans detained are members of this group.”

Reports of previous arrests stated that monks were summoned for interrogation sessions to persuade them to discontinue contacting Tibetans outside Tibet, and to put a stop to spreading any sensitive information on social media about Tibet. So far, only four people including two men, one woman and a monk, have been released as the total tally of detainees reached 121 as of last Friday.

On August 22, 59 Tibetans were detained at Dza Wonpo town in Sershul county police as part of an intensified campaign against any possession of banned images of respected spiritual leaders. The second mass arrests of 53 Tibetans suggested at a combined campaign in search of pictures of spiritual leaders and interrogation to flush out exile contacts. The arrests taken place in September suggested that the six monks could have been charged for their attempts to teach the Tibetan language to local residents. 

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