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China arrests cousin of jailed environmentalist brothers

July 12, 2010

July 8, 2010

Dharamsala, July 8 -- China has arrested a cousin
of the three environmentalist brothers currently
serving varying prison terms. Tashi Dorji, a
young Tibetan teacher in his early thirties was
nabbed from a house in the Tibetan capital Lhasa Monday, reported the Times.

Tashi’s cousins, Karma Samdrup, Rinchen Samdrup
and Chime Namgyal are currently in prison serving
various terms. Karma Samdrup, was sentenced to 15
years in jail on June 24 for "graverobbing," a
charge that had already been dropped more than a
decade ago, and Rinchen Samdrup, the eldest of
the three was sentenced to 5 years on July 3 for
inciting to split the country”. The youngest
brothers Chime Namgyal, is serving 21 months of
re-education through labour on the charge of "harming national security."

Tashi was on a visit to the Tibetan capital from
his home in Chamdo to find his cousin named
Rinchen Dorji, a monk who was arrested in March.
Tashi traced the monk to a hospital in the far
western region of Xinjiang, where he had been treated for burns.

Tsering Choephel, in his 60s, and another cousin
of the three brothers were punished with 18
months of re-education through labour.

Mr Karma’s wife, Dolker Tso, wrote in a blog, "I
don’t know what this threat and terror now
proliferating like cancer cells will bring to our
family... Tashi Dorji is the only person from
Zirong village with an education. I appeal to
Buddha and to the world to help to find him!”

Karma Samdup, a wealthy businessman and an
environmentalist had come out in defense of his
two brothers, Rinchen Samdrup and Chime Namgyal
who had publicly denounced Chinese government
officials for poaching endangered Tibetan species in their native Chamdo.

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