Chinese police in Sichuan’s Ngaba county detained and beat a young Tibetan last week after he launched a solo protest calling for freedom for Tibet in the eighth such protest reported in the county so far this year, sources said.
Tenpa, a former Kirti monastery monk about 18 years old, was taken into custody in the afternoon of Dec. 16 while carrying a photo of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama along a main road of the Ngaba county seat, an exile-based Tibetan told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
“About ten security officers jumped on him and beat him severely before taking him away,” RFA’s source named Meruma Kunjam said, citing contacts in Ngaba.
“His relatives have no idea where he is being held or what his present condition is,” Kunjam said.
“Tenpa comes from Meruma township in Ngaba and was a monk at Kirti monastery but later de-robed and lived as a layman,” he said.
“He is about 18 years old. His father’s name is Lochoe, and his mother’s name is Gyalmo."
Speaking earlier to RFA, a Tibetan living in Ngaba confirmed Tenpa’s protest and detention, though not identifying him by name.
“He was overpowered by plainclothes police who shoved him to the ground and gagged him so that he could not call out,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Later he was taken away,” he said.
Tenpa’s protest had begun at the head of a main road, the site of frequent protests, in Ngaba town now called Heroes’ Road by local Tibetans, the source said.
“He carried a photo of the Dalai Lama and a yellow scarf and walked in protest for some time before being attacked by the police.”
“It happened so fast that details about his name and family could not immediately be checked. A number of police officers and other security officials were then deployed in the town and at Kirti monastery,” he said.
Ngaba’s Kirti monastery and the county’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.
Eight solo protests have been carried out by Tibetans in Ngaba so far this year, with another nine reported in the county in 2015, according to Tibetan sources in the region and in exile. However, numbers are difficult to obtain owing to communication clampdowns imposed by Chinese authorities in the area.
Reported by Lhuboom and Kunsang Tenzin for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.