20-year-old Sonam Tashi’s family uncertain of his status, six weeks after he was seized for political actions
The family of a 20-year-old Tibetan man detained by authorities in early January have still not been informed as to his whereabouts or status. Sonam Tashi, was seized by police on 5 January while carrying out a solo protest in the remote village of Shothal in Kardze, eastern Tibet.
According to information obtained by Golog Jigme, a former political prisoner, Sonam Tashi marched into a street in the village and shouted: "Long live the Dalai Lama" and "Tibet wants freedom" while throwing Lungta (pictures printed on square pieces of paper which are traditionally associated with spreading good will and compassion) into the air in the village. After a short while he was forcefully arrested by local police.
Sonam Tashi’s family say they have approached the authorities and inquired many times about his whereabouts but they have had no official confirmation as to his well-being, nor location.
Solo protesters face harsh treatment
Solo protesters are often held in unknown locations with families of the accused only informed once the trial has taken place behind closed doors. Many are also refused access to legal counsel during their trials.
Earlier this month the independent think tank Freedom House named Tibet as one of the most repressive places in the world, finding Tibetans under China’s rule to have minimal civil liverties and political freedoms.
Tibetans continue to resist and protest against China’s occupation. They are punished with harassment, arrest and long prison sentences. Take action for Tibet’s political prisoners - write to the Chinese authorities and call for their freedom.