Tibetan writer held without trial for two years

Lobsang Lhundup, also known as Dhi Lhaden
21st June 2021

A famous Tibetan writer named Lobsang Lhundup, also known by his pen name Dhi Lhaden, was secretly arrested by security officials in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, in June 2019. Two years have passed since his arbitrary detention and no reason was given by authorities at the time of his arrest.

Lhundup's family received an official message informing them to appear before the authorities on 4 December 2020 but, when they attended, no decision was taken and the family was not allowed to meet or see him in person. According to Tibet Watch, Free Tibet’s research partner, those close to Lhundup suspect that his arrest is linked to his involvement in teaching Tibetan history at a private cultural education centre in Chengdu.

His family decided to keep the information secret from the Tibetan exile community until now, in the hope that he would be released soon. However, after two years without information or a fair trial, they are worried about him and now fear for his life.

Lobsang Lhundup was born in 1971 at Dida Village in Pema county, Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Qinghai Province). At the age of 13, he was enrolled as a monk in the local monastery and after two years, he joined Serthar Larung Gar Monastery and studied there for years. After finishing his studies, he taught subjects such as the Tibetan language, history and Buddhism. He also carried on his teaching activities at the Sera, Gaden, and Kriti monasteries in Tibet for several years. As an intellectual and writer, Lhundup also wrote and published a number of books and articles. He has a wife and a young daughter.

China's crackdown on Tibetan scholars

Lhundup visited a number of places in Tibet in 2008. Following the 2008 uprising in Tibet, he wrote a book entitled "The Art of Passive Resistance" in which he was critical of the Chinese rule in Tibet. Chinese authorities in Tibet routinely crack down on Tibetan writers, intellectuals, and artists. Gor Sherab Gyatso, a beloved and outstanding Tibetan scholar, and six other Tibetan intellectuals were arrested in the past few months in the lead up to the Chinese Communist Party’s centenary.

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