Monk arrested in eastern Tibet: Six arrested over land dispute
Witness to self-immolation protest arrested
On 18 May 2015, Tsewang Choephel, from Nyatso Monastery in Tawu County was arrested. At around 10.30am (local time) the 29-year-old monk was taken away by local authorities. The official reason for his arrest is unknown although local Tibetans believe it could be due to Tsewang Choephel’s presence at the self-immolation protest of fellow monk, Kalsang Yeshi, on 23 December 2014. During that protest, Tsewang Choephel had expressed his anger and frustration against China's authorities. Since then he has been under constant police surveillance. Tsewang Choephel's present whereabouts and condition are unknown.
Six detained for objecting to demolition of their homes
Elsewhere, in eastern Tibet (China's Qinghai province), six Tibetans have been arrested in the latest development in a long-standing land dispute which has seen the homes of resettled nomads bulldozed.
On 5 May 2015, Lubhum Gyal, Tsewang Gyal, Rinchen Dorje and Yeshi Gyaltsen were arrested for objecting to the “demolition campaign” launched by China’s authorities. Two more Tibetans, village leader of Gyablung Village and Yangchuk Gyal were detained the next morning, on the same charges. All six are being held in the County Detention Centre. The Qinghai Lake Control Committee supported by government officials, launched a campaign to demolish the houses and businesses owned by Tibetans along the lakeside of Town 151. Local Tibetans had previously protested and launched a thumb-print petition at the demolition site but they were dispersed by China's armed force and police. Their land has been claimed by the authorities as government property. All homes and businesses owned by Tibetans in the area has been demolished. The seized land has been turned into a tourist spot with the majority of visitors being mainland Chinese tourists.
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