A young Tibetan called out in public for Tibet’s freedom before being assaulted and taken into custody by Chinese police in the second solo protest in Sichuan province’s Kardze prefecture this month, according to sources Friday.
Dorje Rinchen, believed to be in his 20s, launched his solitary protest shortly after 2:00 p.m. on Thursday in the central square of the Serthar (in Chinese, Seda) county seat in the Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
“Many witnesses saw him throw leaflets in the air and shout slogans calling for the long life of [exiled spiritual leader] the Dalai Lama and for freedom for Tibet before he was overpowered by police,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The detaining officers tied Dorje Rinchen’s hands behind his back, forced his head down, “and took him away, beating him severely at the same time,” the source said.
“A large contingent of police were then stationed in the square and imposed harsh restrictions in the area,” he added.
Separately, a Tibetan living in exile confirmed Rinchen’s detention, citing contacts in the Serthar area.
Rinchen, a resident of Horshul village, had once been a monk at Serthar’s Nubsur monastery but “had left monastic life and pursued various trades in the nomadic community,” the source, Golog Jigme, said.
“At this time, it is difficult to know whether his family members have been allowed to see him or learn where he is being held,” Jigme said.
Father of three detained
On Oct. 3, a Tibetan businessman and father of three was also detained in Kardze prefecture after launching a solitary protest challenging Beijing’s rule in Tibetan areas, according to sources.
Pasang Wangchuk, 37, staged his protest in the downtown area of the Kardze (Ganzi) county seat, a Tibetan living in India told RFA, citing sources in the area.
During his protest, Wangchuk carried a banner bearing slogans calling for the Dalai Lama’s long life and for human rights and religious freedom in Tibet, the source said.
“He was able to protest for about ten minutes before he was overpowered by police and taken away,” he said.
No further details were immediately available regarding Wangchuk’s condition or where he was taken.
Reached by RFA for comment, an officer at the Kardze county police office angrily hung up the phone.
Sporadic demonstrations challenging Chinese rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008, with 133 Tibetans to date setting themselves ablaze to oppose Beijing’s rule and for the return of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama
Reported by Kunsang Tenzin and Lobe Socktsang for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.