A prominent Tibetan writer taken away by authorities last month is believed to be held in a detention center in northwest China’s Qinghai province, according to a Tibetan source inside the region.
Druklo, a prominent Tibetan writer who goes by the pen name Shokjang, was secretly detained for a second time on March 19, around the same time that a friend of his was also taken away, said the source, who declined to be identified.
“However, the friend was released later, but not Shokjang,” he told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
Shokjang is said to be held a detention center in Rebgong (in Chinese, Tongren) in the prefecture of Malho (Huangnan), although no other details were available, the source said.
“He did write about the massive deployment of Chinese security forces in the Rebgong area, armed with weapons ready to use any time,” he said.
Shokjang also wrote an article on March 18th about poor students in Kangtsa (Gangcha) county in Tsochang (Haibei),” he said.
Shokjang and Theurang had been detained on April 6, 2010, on allegations of leading a student protest and contacting outside writers and the Tibetan Youth Congress in exile.
They also were accused of conducting divisive activities and instigating others to resort to divisive actions.
At the time, Theurang was detained in a Sichuan provincial detention center in southwest China, while Shokjang was detained in Lanzhou detention center in northwest China’s Gansu province.
Shokjang was released on May 8, 2010, with stern warning that he would be watched for 10 years. He was also banned from re-enrolling in the Northwest University for Nationalities in Lanzhou and not allowed to take his final exams.
Shokjang is a native of the Gengya area in Labrang Sangchu county in Gansu province, the source said.
Comments on social media
Many Tibetan writers have commented on Shokjang’s detention on social media.
“Wherever you are, I am confident that you are filled with heroic pride and confidence,” wrote Tsen, a popular Tibetan writer.
Another one named Nyen wrote: “Twenty days back, my brother was suddenly taken away. His real name is Druklo, and his pen name is Shokjang…If anyone meets him, please pay attention and be concerned.”
Theurang wrote: “My friend, wherever you are, I know you are always lively. Whatever situation you may face, I know you will not stop expressing your views. I know you are one who sincerely prays for freedom.”
Tibetans have long complained about eroding religious, cultural, and linguistic traditions in Tibetan-populated regions of China, and language rights have become a particular focus for Tibetan efforts to reassert national identity in recent years, sources say.
On Nov. 9, 2012, several thousand students in Rebgong took to the streets to demand greater rights, including the right to use Tibetan, instead of Mandarin Chinese, as their language of instruction in the schools.
Reported by Lhuboom for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.