Case Studies- Enforced Disappearances- Geshe Tsewang Namgyal

Teacher and academic Geshe Tsewang Namgyal is one of the four monks from Drango who remain disappeared after being arrested in January 2012.

After protests in Drango in January 2012, when Chinese forces opened fire on protesters killing two and injuring dozens more, the four monks travelled to Tridu.

They hadn't been involved in the protests but Chinese State Security forces may have thought they were about to share information about what had happened. Some of the four are thought to have been seized by security forces when they were in an internet cafe.

We don't know how the Chinese authorities knew they were in the internet cafe, but we do know that Tibetans have to produce identity papers to use the internet, and that the Chinese state has hardware that allows them to closely monitor internet traffic.

Chinese security forces have routinely arrested protestors—as well as their friends, family, and co-workers—and refused to give enquirers any information of their well-being or whereabouts.

Sometimes these disappearances last for as long as several months. Free Tibet is very concerned for these individuals, especially given the strong evidence documenting China’s routine use of torture in Tibet.

Disappeared in Tibet

Geshe Tsewang Namgyal is an academic monk from the Drango monastery, who studied at Drepung Monastery in India before returning to Tibet.

He is respected in his community as a senior monk. He and the three other monks were all disappeared between the dates of 25-27 January 2012.

Their relatives received no information concerning the monks’ locations or conditions for more than 6 months following their arrest.

In November 2012 it was confirmed that Geshe Tsewang Namgyal was sentenced to 6 years, and the other monks received sentences between 5 and 7 years. Thus far no information is available on what they were charged with. 

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