Missing Tibetan Protester Safe, in Hiding


2015-04-17
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tibet-jigjekyab-april172015.jpg Jigje Kyab in video he released, set against a street scene from his region, April 15, 2015.
Photo courtesy of an RFA listener.

A Tibetan protester sought by police in western China’s Sichuan province for his role in challenging the seizure by authorities of community land is safe and in hiding, the man said in a short video clip released this week.

Jigje Kyab, a resident of Thangkor town in Dzoege (in Chinese, Ruo’ergai) county in the Ngaba (Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, had vanished April 13 and was thought at first to have been detained by police, sources said in an earlier report.

“I evaded capture, and am hiding in a safe place,” Kyab said in the video, a copy of which was obtained this week by RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“I would like to apologize to all those who were worried about my security,” Kyab said.

Jigje Kyab, 39 and also known as Jigme Kyab, disappeared this week after his house was visited on April 13 by an official of Thangkor town and local government employees, and was believed to have been taken into custody.

Helped lead protest

The custodian of documents supporting Tibetan claims to property taken five years ago in a land-grab, Kyab also was known to the authorities for helping lead a Jan. 28 protest by 20 Thangkor-area Tibetans in the Sichuan provincial capital, Chengdu.

“The main reason I went into hiding is so we can present our case to higher provincial authorities,” Kyab said in his recorded statement.

“This is the only way we can seek support for the truth,” he said.

The requisitioning of rural land for lucrative property deals by cash-hungry local governments triggers thousands of “mass incidents” across China every year.

Many result in violent suppression, the detention of the main organizers, and intense pressure on the local population to comply with the government’s wishes.

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

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