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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Two Tibetans arrested in Lithang after "Patriotic Education" Campaign

October 12, 2007

TCHRD/Press Release[Monday, October 08, 2007 18:53]
In the aftermath of massive "Patriotic Education" campaign launched by
the Chinese authorities in Lithang area since the beginning of September
this year, cases of arbitrary arrests and detention of Tibetans who
openly defied and challenged the authorities for violating their rights
have began to surface from the area.

According to confirm information, on 2 September 2007, the Chinese
authorities summoned a meeting of the general public of Youru Kharshul
and Kayta Villages in Lithang County, Kardze "Tibetan Autonomous
Prefecture" ('TAP'), to receive political education telling Tibetans how
the Chinese liberation of Tibet has empowered the Tibetan commoners and
how Tibetans under the Chinese Communist Party's patronage are leading a
happy and content life. However, not everyone agreed with that, Adruk
Kalgyam, a Tibetan nomad from Youru Kharshul Village, stood up from the
gathering and challenged the Chinese authorities by telling, "How can
you say we are happy and content under the communist rule, when the
tears of sorrow of the Tibetan people have not dried up yet. And when
the Dalai Lama-who is savior of Tibetan people for this and next
life-had to lead a life in exile and Panchen Lama continued to be under
Chinese detention. In addition, Apho A'drak (Pet name used for Ronggye
A'drak by his friends and relatives) and the likes were arrested for
speaking their mind and their whereabouts still remain unknown."
Adruk Kalgyam left the gathering by shouting slogans "May the Dalai Lama
live for thousands of years and may the wishes of Apho A'drak and others
be fulfilled." On the next day, a group of Lithang County Public
Security Bureau (PSB) officers came to Youru Village and arbitrarily
arrested Adruk Kalgyam from his resident without citing any reasons.
There has been no information on the current fate and whereabouts of
Adruk Kalgyam.

Adruk Kalgyam, a 26-year-old nomad was born to Adruk Wangdu (father) and
Ronggye Tsewang (Mother) at Youru Kharshul Village, Lithang County,
Kardze, 'TAP'.

In a similar incident, on 3 October 2007, the Chinese authorities
summoned abbot and monks of Youru Geydenling Monastery (a small branch
monastery under the umbrella of Lithang Monastery), and conducted a
'Patriotic education'. During the session, Jamyang Tenzin, a monk of the
monastery, stood up and challenged the officials openly saying "The
Chinese government's proclamation of right to religious freedom enjoyed
by the Tibetan people stands ghastly contradictory as we cannot place a
portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at our residence and monastery.
The people of Lithang County including its' nomads still continue to
face livelihood problems although government boast of rapid
development." Jamyang Tenzin even raised the question on the arrest of
Ronggye A'drak and other Tibetans and expressed his concern on their
whereabouts. He later concluded by shouting, "May the Dalai Lama live
for thousands of years." Jamyang was however, arrested right away by the
local PSB officials after the conclusion of the 'Patriotic education'
session at the monastery. Jamyang Tenzin, a 33-year-old monk of Youru
Geydenling Monastery was born to Thinley Tsering(father) and Tsering
Dolma(mother) and was a native of Youru Sakhor Village, Lithang County,
Kardze, 'TAP'.

In the light of recent open public protests initiated by Ronggye A'drak
in Lithang and subsequent arrests and detention of his supporters, the
Chinese authorities have resorted to imposing restrictions and beefing
up the security measures in Lithang and surrounding counties. The
authorities have even summoned the leaders of townships and monasteries
in and around Lithang to commence the Patriotic Education Campaign in
the first week of September 2007, which will be carried out over a
period of three months. On 15 September, Lobsang Phuntsok, a monk of
Lithang Monastery was arrested following the "patriotic education"
campaign and his friend Kunkhen was arrested by Lithang County PSB
officials on 22 August for unknown reason.

The Chinese authorities under the banner of "Patriotic education"
campaign in religious institutions across Tibet are violating the
Tibetan people's right to religious freedom and continues to detain and
arrest those who speak their mind and wishes of the common people.

TCHRD is highly concerned about Adruk Kalgyam and Jamyang Tenzin and
seeks the support of human rights groups and the international community
in securing their early release unconditionally. The Centre deems the
case as an outright clamp down on the freedom of opinion and expression
in Tibet. Freedom of Expression is a fundamental human rights which is a
prerequisite to the enjoyment of all human rights. Article 35 of the
Constitution of the People's Republic of China (PRC) guarantees "freedom
of expression, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession
and of demonstration." Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights proclaims: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and
expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without
interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas
through any media and regardless of frontiers’. The Centre calls upon
the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right
to freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. Ambeyi Ligabo, to intervene on
their case and others who were earlier arrested in connection with
Ronggye A'drak.

TCHRD also call upon the PRC government to release all political
prisoners who have been arrested and detained for exercising their
fundamental human rights enshrined in the UDHR, constitution and many
other international covenants and treaties that she is party to. The
Centre also calls upon the PRC to immediately put an end to "Patriotic
Education" campaign across all religious institutions in Tibet and
considers Adruk Kalgyam and Jamyang Tenzin's call a genuine expression
of local Tibetans' concern and despair that continue to exist in Tibet
as a result of China's repressive policies. The PRC should immediately
address these genuine concerns of local Tibetan people rather than
tightening noose on the Tibetan people's fundamental human rights. The
government of the PRC should ensure that they are not subjected to ill
treatment and torture which are common features in Chinese administered
detention centres and prisons in Tibet.

Press Release: TCHRD/Eng/PR/203/2007
Date: 8 October 2007
Contact person: Tashi Choephel (English), Jamphel Monlam (Tibetan and
Phone Number: +91-1892-223363/225874/229225

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