Two sisters detained after sending chat group messages

Two Tibetan women, known for helping the poor and needy in their village were detained on 23 October after sending voice messages in chat groups on the social media application WeChat, encouraging everyone to practise virtuous actions.

Tsomo and Nyidon, are devout Buddhists from a village in Karchen Township  (སྐར་ཆེན་ཤང་།), Sershul County in the Tibetan region of Kham. Before their arrests, the pair regularly volunteered to serve the poorest in their community.

Following their arrest, the pair were taken to a detention centre in the same county. Since then, there have been no further details about their condition.

According to a source spoken to by Tibet Watch, “Currently there is heavy restriction on activities related to religion” in Tibet.

The source added that in Karchen Township alone, many villagers have been summoned to their local police station and subjected to interrogations about their activities of promoting Buddhist virtues.

On 20 December 2021, the ruling Chinese Communist Party announced a new regulation aimed at controlling religion in society: Measures on the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services, of which Article 17 stipulates that individuals and organisations without authorised government licence are “not allowed to organise and carry out religious activities on the internet.”

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