Tibet Watch has received further details before the disappearance of Tibetan schoolteacher Rinchen Kyi last year.
In August last year, Rinchen Kyi was taken to a hospital in Xining City by Chinese authorities, having been arrested on 1 August 2021. She was subsequently moved from this hospital, the last known detail of her whereabouts before she disappeared.
Further details have since emerged, with a local source in contact with Tibet Watch stating that Rinchen Kyi had not been diagnosed with any illness at the hospital in Xining City. Furthermore, a doctor at the hospital informed authorities who had accompanied Rinchen Kyi to the hospital that she had no medical conditions, and they subsequently made a phone call to Rinchen’s family. According to the latest source, authorities told Rinchen Kyi’s family to arrive at the hospital in two minutes if they wanted to see her. On reaching the location just five minutes later, her family discovered that she was nowhere to be found and that Rinchen had already been taken to another, unknown location.
The source in Xining, whose identity is kept anonymous for security reasons, has contacts with the townspeople of Rinchen Kyi in Darlag County, Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.
“When they contacted the security officials, they were not given details of her whereabouts, and instead they were being blamed for letting them wait“, although, he continues “it is not at all possible to reach in two [minutes] and it is just a pretext to take her away.”
Employing every legal avenue to seek information about Rinchen, her family of five – including a 13-year old daughter and a grandmother aged 79 – has since persisted in appealing to Qinghai Provincial authorities to provide them information about her whereabouts and well-being. Prior to her arrest on 1 August 2021, Rinchen was already distressed and growing weak from loss of appetite following the forced shutdown of the school she was teaching at.
Rinchen’s Tibetan language school closed
Rinchen Kyi’s arrest from her home followed the forced closure of the renowned Tibetan school Sengdruk Taktse in July last year. Now in her 40s, she was one of the longest-serving teachers at the school that was founded for families lacking financial resources. The shutdown of Sengdruk Taktse not only caused the disintegration of the closely-knit community of students – leaving non-local students adrift without certainty of school admission – but has also affected teachers, who have been forbidden from sheltering orphans.
Information supplied by Tibet Watch