News and Views on Tibet

Tibetan writer Dhi Lhaden under heavy surveillance after release from prison

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Prominent Tibetan writer Dhi Lhaden after his release from Chinese prison (Photo/Tibet Times)

By Tenzin Nyidon

DHARAMSHALA, Aug 15: Concerns have been raised over the situation of prominent Tibetan writer Dhi Lhaden who was recently released from Chinese prison following the completion of his  four-year sentence. The lack of transparency surrounding the writer’s detention and subsequent information regarding his health condition has amplified concerns about his ongoing well-being and the state of his fundamental rights. 

According to Tibetan language news outet Tibet Times, Dhi Laden’s physical health appears to be stable after undergoing a medical check-up in Chengdu. However, the circumstances surrounding his release are raising significant alarm as he is now subjected to stringent surveillance and restrictions on his movements and activities. 

The same report also indicates that Dhi Lhaden is mandated to provide regular updates about his whereabouts and activities to the local authorities. The specific reasons behind these strict reporting requirements remain undisclosed. This heightened level of scrutiny, combined with the requirement for constant reporting, effectively limits his ability to engage in everyday activities without the oversight of authorities. Furthermore, it is believed that his communication channels are being closely monitored.

The writer was detained in June 2019 in Chengdu City as a direct consequence of his critical writings, which openly criticised Chinese rule and the policies implemented in Tibet. In 2021, he was handed a four-year prison term under the loosely defined charge of “disrupting social order.” The deliberate use of vague charges to suppress dissent has become a recurring strategy employed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to exert strict control and stifle opposing voices of writers, intellectuals, and artists. 

Dhi Lhaden’s case serves as a stark reminder of the persistent challenges faced by Tibetan writers, intellectuals, and activists who continue to face in their pursuit of freedom of expression and human rights in occupied Tibet. The case also underscores the broader issue of China’s approach to dissent and expression.

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