Tibetan Man, Family Detained

China seeks to control the flow of information from a restive Tibetan-majority region.
2011-05-16
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An undated photo of Gerik.
An undated photo of Gerik.
Kanyag Tsering

Chinese authorities in a Tibetan-populated region of Sichuan province have detained and beaten a Tibetan man and his family after he was suspected of involvement in local protests and of passing information on  the disturbances to the outside world, Tibetan exile sources say.

Gerik, age 60, a resident of pastoral division no. 3 of Ngaba prefecture’s Me’uruma township, was detained almost two months ago on March 19, Tibetan monks in India said, citing sources in the region.

The monks, Kanyag Tsering and Losang Yeshe, have regularly provided updated information on disturbances and detentions in the troubled Ngaba region, scene of a Chinese security crackdown following the self-immolation death of a monk protesting Beijing’s rule.

Gerik is believed to have been tortured by police and his present whereabouts are unknown, Tsering and Yeshe said.

“He is suspected of having passed on information about the situation in Ngaba to the outside world beginning in 2008, and especially about the self-immolation of Kirti [monastery] monk Phuntsog in March this year.”

“This is the third time he is known to have been detained by Public Security,” they said, adding that Gerik and nine monks suspected of a “high degree of involvement” in recent disturbances are believed to have been tortured in police custody.

Family beaten

An undated photo of Donkho.
An undated photo of Donkho. Kanyag Tsering

Chinese authorities have also not spared Gerik’s family, detaining and beating his wife, Donkho, 52, and daughter Metok, 23, Tsering and Yeshe said.

Donkho was released a few days after being detained on March 20, and Metok was detained on March 22 and released on April 2, they said.

“[Metok] was beaten so badly that there were fears for her life. But authorities did not allow her to be admitted to hospital, and she is still lying on her sickbed at home without receiving medical treatment.”

Other Tibetans with connections to Gerik fled soon after he was detained, Tsering and Yeshe said.

“But since nothing more has been heard of them, there are fears they have also been detained.”

Others detained
An undated photo of Metok.
An undated photo of Metok. Kanyag Tsering

Kirti monk Losang Tsering, 24 and a nephew of Gerik’s wife Donkho, also disappeared on or around March 16, and is presumed detained.

And Kirti monk Losang Khedrub, age 39 and a native of Chugle Gabma in Ngaba, was detained on May 6, Tsering and Yeshe said. The reason for his detention and his present whereabouts are unknown.

Meanwhile, the residential quarters of Kirti monastery, where Phuntsog set himself ablaze in March in protest at Chinese rule, remain under police guard and are monitored by cameras and recording devices, Tsering and Yeshe said.

“The names of monks not present at the monastery have been made public,  with an announcement that they are not permitted to return, and the doors of unoccupied rooms have been sealed with notices reading ‘Not to be opened.’”

More than 20 monks at Kirti have been detained since May 6, but because of conditions at the monastery it has been impossible to learn anything of their present whereabouts or condition, Tsering and Yeshe said.

Reported by Rigdhen Dolma for RFA’s Tibetan service. Translations by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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