Tibetan Monk Vanishes in Police Custody After Being Detained

Tibetans gather at the compound of Thangkor Soktsang monastery in Dzoege in an undated photo.
Photo courtesy of an RFA listener.

A Tibetan monk described as uninvolved in political activities has vanished in police custody after being detained last month at his monastery in southwestern China’s Sichuan province, a Tibetan source living in the area says.

Gendun Drakpa, 39, was working as treasurer of the Thangkor Socktsang monastery in Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) prefecture’s Dzoege (Ruo’ergai) county when he was taken from his quarters in the presence of his roommate on Aug. 24, the source told RFA’s Tibetan Service, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“He was focused solely on the work of the monastery and was not involved in any illegal [political] activities,” RFA’s source said.

Shortly after Drakpa was taken into custody, an unnamed official called the monastery to say that Drakpa was “under detention” and had answered questions about Socktsang’s finances and operating fund, the source said.

“Nothing more has been heard about him since then,” he added.

Friends and acquaintances believe that Drakpa’s viewing of news programs broadcast from outside Tibetan areas may have led to his detention, RFA’s source said.

“These can be watched and listened to on WeChat,” a popular social media platform, the source said.

“Otherwise, he was not engaged in any kind of illegal activity to the best of our knowledge.”

Relatives are currently seeking information about Drakpa’s place of detention and current condition, “but have not been able to learn anything so far,” he said.

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


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