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Go Sherab Gyaltsen

Go Sherab Gyatso, a Tibetan Buddhist scholar and writer who is also known as Gosher, was detained on 26 October 2020 in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. Much like Richen Tsultrim, Sherab Gyatso has been held incommunicado since his arrest, with news of his disappearance surfacing after five months. With the release of this letter by the Chinese government, we now have confirmation that he was arrested on the charge of “suspicion of inciting secession.”

The Chinese government letter further states that the Lhasa City Intermediate People’s Court has held a hearing on Sherab Gyatso’s case, but notes that a verdict is yet to be pronounced. Chinese officials stated that they have “notified Go Sherab Gyatso’s family of the relevant information,” and deny that any arbitrary detention or forced disappearance has taken place. 

While the precise reasons for Sherab Gyatso’s arrest remain a state secret, it is highly likely that they relate to his written and spoken work. Sources reported to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy on 16 April 2021 that it was his fourth known detention in over two decades. A public educator, Go Sherab Gyatso has given many public talks and lectures on Tibet’s environment, Buddhism, and the preservation of Tibetan language and culture. His published books focus on a diverse range of Tibetan issues, including those of cultural survival and Tibetan civilisation.

Due to the threat of retribution by the state, Go Sherab Gyatso’s family have been unable to speak about his situation, instead being forced into silence.

Read the full letter from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights here.

Read the Chinese government’s response here.