Tibetan Woman Blogger Detained For 'Political' Postings

Dawa Tsomo in an undated photo.
Photo courtesy of an RFA listener.

Authorities in northwestern China’s Qinghai province have detained a Tibetan woman for blogging on topics considered politically sensitive, including the living conditions of Tibetans in an area devastated by an earthquake four years ago, sources said.

Dawa Tsomo was taken into custody on Aug. 23 in Dzatoe (in Chinese, Zaduo) county in the Yulshul (Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture “for violating China’s Internet rules and regulations,” a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Tuesday.

“She had blogged and disseminated articles with political overtones online,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Tsomo, a native of Dzatoe county’s Chidza Sachen village, was taken away shortly after her arrest, “but her present whereabouts and status are unknown,” he said.

Tsomo had recently blogged on the plight of Tibetans living in Kyegudo, a Yulshul town hit by a devastating earthquake on April  14, 2010, the source said, adding, “She had particularly highlighted local Chinese officials’ mishandling of issues related to Tibetan residents’ welfare.”


The earthquake in Kyegudo largely destroyed the town and killed almost 3,000 residents by official count, and many homes rebuilt by Tibetan families on their own land and with their own resources were later torn down by authorities.

Chinese authorities have also refused permits to Tibetans to operate shops and restaurants in Kyegudo while applications to set up these businesses by Chinese immigrants are easily approved, sources say.

“There are explicit actions of discrimination committed by local authorities favoring Han Chinese  immigrants over the local Tibetans,” one local source told RFA earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Yulshul authorities in April demolished several brick kilns operated by Tibetans in Kyegudo in response to pleas by rival Chinese plants concerned over increasing competition, a local source said.

Tibetans living in Tibet and in western provinces of China complain of political, religious, and economic discrimination as well as human rights abuses.

Sporadic demonstrations challenging Beijing’s rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008.

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


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