Detained Tibetan Monk Reported in Critical Condition After Torture, Beatings

Lobsang Dargye is being held at a remote army camp where he is beaten every day, a local source says.

Detained monk Lobsang Dargye is shown in an undated photo.

A Tibetan monk detained last week after launching a solo protest in Sichuan’s Ngaba county is being held at an army camp in critical condition after suffering beatings and other abuse at the hands of police, Tibetan sources say.

Lobsang Dargye, a monk belonging to Ngaba’s Kirti monastery, was taken into custody on March 16 after calling out for Tibetan freedom while walking along a main road of the county seat, and his place of detention at first remained unknown, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“But through the efforts of many people, his location was finally traced to a newly built army camp in Ngaba county,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“He has been severely tortured while in detention, and is now in critical condition,” the source said.

“[Dargye’s] family, relatives, and classmates at the monastery are concerned that he may die from the beatings he now endures each day, and they are also worried about what the Chinese authorities may be forcing him to confess to,” he said.

Dargye’s family members have been called in for questioning by police, and on March 18, Chinese police arrived at Kirti monastery to question his teacher, the source said, adding that a Tibetan laywoman named Dukpe later staged a protest of her own in Ngaba on that same day.

Dargye’s and Dukpe’s protests were quickly blocked owing to the presence in Ngaba of large numbers of security forces sent to clamp down on the town on the anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising on March 10, 1959 that led to thousands of deaths and the flight into exile of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Kirti monastery and Ngaba’s main town have been the scene of repeated self-immolations and other protests in recent years by monks, former monks, nuns, and other Tibetans opposed to Chinese rule.

Reported by Kunsang Tenzin for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Richard Finney.