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At least 11 Tibetans detained for supporting dead monk

Posted by Author on April 20, 2011

At least 11 ethnic Tibetans have been detained following the death of a monk who set himself on fire in protest against government policies. They are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

On 16 March, a 20-year-old Tibetan monk called Phuntsok set fire to himself at a market in Ngaba County (in Chinese: Aba), Sichuan province, in protest against repressive government policies in Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan populated areas in China. He died in hospital early in the morning of 17 March.
Following Phuntsok’s self-immolation, hundreds of monks from the same monastery, Kirti monastery in Ngaba County, and other local residents staged another protest. Several of them were briefly detained and many others have since been taken into custody. Lobsang Choepel, 24, and Lobsang Ngodup, 32, both monks from Kirti monastery were detained on around 30 March. Two other monks from Kirti monastery, Dhonyoe Dorjee, aged around 34, and Tenzin Gyamtso, 27, were detained on 8 April. All were detained at the monastery and are believed to be held at the Ngaba county police detention centre.

The police in Beijing detained Lobsang Tsepak on 25 March. He is a former Kirti monastery monk, studying at the Central University for Nationalities (Minzu University) in Beijing.

A-dor, 35, Dorjee, around 35, Palko, 40, and Woesel Dorjee, 28, were all detained on 23 March in the neighbouring Namda Township in Dzamthang County by the county police. They are believed to be held at the county police detention centre. The four had taken part in a demonstration in Dzamthang County, in solidarity with the monks in Ngaba County.

On 12 April, the authorities detained the brother and uncle of Phuntsok, the monk who self-immolated – Lobsang Dhargay, 22, and Lobsang Tsondue, around 46. Both had previously been detained on 22 March and released on 25 March. They are also believed to be held at Ngaba county police detention centre.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English, Chinese or your own language:

Calling on the authorities to release immediately and unconditionally Lobsang Choepel, Lobsang Ngodup, Dhonyoe Dorjee, Tenzin Gyamtso, Lobsang Tsepak, A-dor, Dorjee, Palko, Woesel Dorjee, Lobsang Dhargay and Lobsang Tsondue unless they are to be charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offence;

Urging the authorities to ensure they have immediate access to their families, legal representation of their choice, and any medical care they may require;

Calling on them to guarantee that they will not be tortured or ill-treated while they remain in custody;

in restoring order, use force only when necessary and then in a proportionate way;

Urging them to respect and protect the right of Tibetans to enjoy their own culture, to practise their religion, and to use their own language.


Director of the Sichuan Provincial Department of Public Security

ZENG Shengquan Tingzhang

Sichuansheng Gong’anting

9 Jindunlu, Chengdushi 610041


People’s Republic of China

Fax: +86 28 86301177

Salutation: Dear Director

Governor of the Sichuan Provincial People’s Government

JIANG Jufeng Shengzhang

Sichuansheng Renmin Zhengfu

30 Duyuanjie, Chengdushi 610016


People’s Republic of China

Fax: +86 28 86604036

Salutation: Dear Governor

And copies to:

Minister of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China

MENG Jianzhu Buzhang


14 Dongchang’anjie


Beijingshi 100741

People’s Republic of China

Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

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