Mother of Tibetan detainee passes away after prolonged depression

Tenzin Khernrab has been in detention for over a year with police refusing to provide any information to his mother Phudé

The mother of a Tibetan writer and political detainee passed away on 17 February 2024 after her depression worsened. Phudé had gone over a year without any information about her 29-year-old son Tenzin Khenrab following his arrest.

A source had informed Tibet Watch about Phudé’s health deteriorating three weeks ago and attributed it directly to her worrying about her son, who has been held in incommunicado detention for more than a year.. The same source told Tibet Watch today that Phudé, his only remaining family member, had passed away at the age of 53.

“She asked the police of Nyakchu County whereabouts of her son and appealed several times to allow her visit him, but the authorities denied her [any information]. Under such circumstance, she was in depression and fell sick, which gradually deteriorated and she passed away in the end.”

Tenzin Khenrab was arrested last year on allegations of keeping a photo of the 89-year-old exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, on his phone and various e-books.

Details of the e-books he had kept are not known, although materials published by the Tibetan exiles, including monasteries, are strictly forbidden. Information produced outside China related to religion has further been censored under a regulation, announced in December 2021, that bans all foreign organisations and individuals from spreading religious content online in China and requires religious organisations and individuals to obtain authorised government license to do so.

Tenzin Khenrab (བསྟན་འཛིན་མཁྱེན་རབ།) is a 29-year-old writer and well-educated in both the Tibetan and Chinese languages. He hails from Lower Wuthok Village (ཨོ་ཐོག་སྨད་ཐ་སྡེ་བ།) in Nyakchu county (ཉག་ཆུ་རྫོང་།) in Kham Karze Region. Tenzin Khenrab formerly studied in Wothok Monastery (ཨོ་ཐོག་དགོན།) and Lithang Monastery (ལི་ཐང་དགོན།).

Information supplied by Tibet Watch

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