Chinese security officers today released a Tibetan monk held in secret for 10 days for questioning, allowing him to return to his monastery in Gansu province, Tibetan sources said.
Jinpa Gyatso, a monk of Labrang monastery in Gansu’s Sangchu (in Chinese, Xiahe) county, had disappeared after being taken into custody on March 27, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
“Chinese state security officers called him on the phone on the day he disappeared, and he told a friend he had received the call,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“The monastery was in session that day,” the source said. “He attended the morning prayer session, but in the afternoon he didn’t turn up.”
After being held in secret for 10 days, Gyatso was released without explanation, a second source told RFA on Feb. 5.
“There was no sign that he had suffered any torture or been beaten,” the source said, also speaking on condition he not be named.
Gyatso had also been held for questioning for a few days around the March 10 anniversary of a failed 1959 national uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet, during which Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama fled into exile in India, one source said.
“These days, the Chinese government is holding more and more Tibetans for questioning on charges related to political offenses,” the source said, adding, “But Chinese restrictions on the internet are blocking the timely flow of information on these cases.”
Founded in 1709, Labrang has long been one of the largest and most important monasteries in the historical northeast Tibetan region of Amdo, at times housing thousands of monks, and was the scene of major demonstrations against Chinese rule during region-wide protests in March 2008.
A month later, Labrang monks disrupted a government-controlled tour of the monastery by foreign journalists, saying that Chinese abuses of Tibetans were being hidden from reporters' view.
Reported by Dorjee Tso for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Richard Finney.