Chinese authorities in Sichuan province have sentenced a Tibetan schoolteacher and writer to a three-year jail term on unknown charges, according to Tibetan sources.
Jolep Dawa, 39, was handed his sentence by a court in Barkham (in Chinese, Ma’erkang) county in Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) prefecture, said India-based monks Kanyag Tsering and Lobsang Yeshe, citing sources in Tibet.
“There was no clear reason for his arrest,” Tsering and Yeshe said.
Sichuan province has been the center of a string of self immolation protests by Tibetans campaigning against Chinese rule.
Dawa—editor of the Tibetan-language magazine Durab Kyi Nga (I, of this Century) and an organizer of Tibetan cultural conferences—was detained in the provincial capital Chengdu on Oct. 1 last year and had been held since that time, they said.
“Just a few days ago, [Dawa] was allowed to see his wife and children for a very short time. But they were not allowed to speak to each other,” Tsering and Yeshe said.
Several years ago, Dawa was detained for one month because of his involvement in a mass campaign to end the use of animal fur on Tibetan clothing, Tsering and Yeshe said.
On March 16, 2008, he was again detained for three months, they said.
“His wife managed a book and CD rental and retail store called Lhamo Lhatso Music Shop. They have two children.”
“After he was detained last year, Chinese police raided his store and confiscated Dawa’s laptop computer and diary and some of his literary works,” they said.
Meanwhile, two Tibetans monks have been detained by Chinese authorities.
On Oct. 14, Geshe Tsultrim Gyatso of Amdo Ditsa Monastery was detained in the Tsolho (in Chinese, Hainan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai province, the Tibetan parliament-in-exile in India said in a statement.
Gyatso, 40, had been the chief administrator of Ditsa Monastery for a decade and also served for many years as a teacher in various Tibetan schools in the area..
Separately, a 36-year-old monk named Lodroe from Ngaba’s Kirti monastery was detained “several days ago,” Tsering and Yeshe said.
“His current whereabouts are unknown,” they said.
Ngaba, a Tibetan-populated region of southwestern China, has recently been rocked by a wave of self-immolation protests against rule by Beijing.
Chinese security officials are now on “24-hour watch” in Ngaba township, the county seat, Tsering and Yeshe said.
“Security personnel are visiting each and every family in Ngaba and warning them not to carry out acts of self-immolation.”
“They say that the parents [of protesters] will be held responsible if such incidents happen again,” they said.
Reported by Rigdhen Dolma for RFA’s Tibetan service. Translations by Rigdhen Dolma. Written in English by Richard Finney.