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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?"

The fate of Sertha monk remains unknown year after arrest

June 30, 2009

tchrd 24 June 2009

The fate of a Tibetan Buddhist monk from the famous Larung Gar Buddhist
Institute of Sertha in present-day Sichuan Province, who was arrested last
year during the pan -Tibet protest, remains unknown year after the incident,
according to information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and
Democracy (TCHRD).

According to the source, Ngagchung (only one name) was arrested by the on 8
July 2008 along with two monks; Taphun and Gudrak of Larung Gar Buddhist
Institute of Serthar on suspicious of leaking information about Tibet's
situation to the 'separatist forces' outside during the height of the Tibet
protests last year. Although Taphun and Gudrak-both brothers- were released
after interrogation, Ngagchung continue to remain in detention for almost a
year. As per the last communication, he is known to have been detained at
Chengdu PSB Detention Centre in Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan
Province. The present physical and mental conditions of Ngagchung remain
unknown to his family members and relatives as their numerous requests to
visit him were turned down by the authorities.

Ngagchung is a nephew of the late Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, a highly -respected
Tibetan Buddhist teacher who founded the Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in
Sertha County (Ch: Seda), Kardze "Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture" ('TAP').
Ngagchung studied Buddhist philosophy at the Institute for more than 20
years. Over the years, he had taken various responsibilities of the
institute and was respected member of the institute.

The Centre has recorded numerous cases of Tibetans whose fates and
whereabouts remain completely unknown to their family members or close
associates. Family members were denied visitation right in the detention
center even after locating their whereabouts. While in many known cases,
families were informed just before the court trial begin denying them of
basic legal guarantees.

Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in Sertha County witnessed numerous Chinese
crackdowns in 1999 and April 2000 with Chinese authorities sending 'work
team' officials to conduct the 'Patriotic re-education' campaign in the
institute. Later, on 18 April 2001, the Chinese authorities issued a notice
putting ceiling on the number of resident monks the institute could
accommodate which resulted in the eviction of over 7,000 students mostly
from Mainland China and other East Asian countries. Then in June 2001 fifty
trucks and jeeps arrived at the Institute and, under the protection of
thousands of security officials who camped on the outskirts of the Institute
during the massive demolition, began to destroy the monastic homes. The
founder of the institute, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, passed away at a hospital
in Chengdu on 7 January 2004 at the age of 70.

The Centre urges the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) to
immediately locate the current whereabouts and ascertain the current fate of
Ngagchung. The Center also calls for immediate and unconditional access to
his family members or legal representative of his choice and any medical
attention he may require.
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