Chinese authorities in Gansu province have detained a Tibetan monk for the fourth time in the last five years—and again without filing formal charges against him, according to his brother.
Jigme Gyatso, a monk at Labrang monastery in the Kanlho (in Chinese, Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture was picked up on Aug. 20 and is being held in the Kanlho Public Security Bureau detention center, the man’s brother, named Sonam, told RFA.
“After he had been missing for several weeks, the Kanlho Public Security Bureau confirmed that they are holding him,” Sonam said.
“They wouldn’t say why he is detained, but they told our family that he could face a term in jail if he doesn’t abide by state law.”
Calls seeking comment from Kanlho officials last week rang unanswered.
Chinese authorities first detained Jigme Gyatso, also called Jigme Goril, in 2006 following his return to Labrang after he attended a religious ceremony conducted in India by Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
He was released without charge after being held and questioned for a month.
In 2008, he was picked up during regionwide protests against Chinese rule and was held for a year. He was severely beaten in detention, but again was not formally charged.
In 2010, he was held for six months in a hotel for political “re-education” before he was once again released, again without charge.
Jigme Gyatso’s Labrang monastery was the scene of major demonstrations against Chinese rule during regionwide Tibetan protests in March 2008.
Monks at Labrang later disrupted a government-controlled tour of the monastery by foreign journalists in April 2008.
Reported by Dorjee Tso for RFA’s Tibetan service. Translated by Rigdhen Dolma. Written in English by Richard Finney.