A Tibetan monk previously detained and then released by police in northwestern China’s Qinghai province has been taken into custody again, vanishing in detention with no word of his whereabouts given to his family, a Tibetan source in the region said.
Choesang Gyatso, a monk of Lutsang monastery in Mangra (in Chinese, Guinan) county in the Tsolho (Hainan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, was seized by police at his monastery on May 29, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
“The reason for his detention is unknown, and no information is available about his present condition though friends and relatives are asking where he is being held,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
News of Gyatso’s detention was briefly delayed from reaching outside contacts due to communications blocks imposed by Chinese authorities in the area.
Gyatso, who had been detained once before for about a month and then freed without explanation, leads an association set up to promote education among young children in Tibetan nomadic areas, the source said.
“He is also the editor of a journal titled ‘The Sound of Hoofbeats,’” he said.
Education programs set up in Tibetan areas are sometimes deemed “illegal associations” challenging Beijing’s rule, and China has jailed scores of Tibetan writers and educators for asserting Tibetan national and cultural identity, especially since widespread protests swept Tibetan areas in 2008.
Reported by Chakmo Tso for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.