Whereabouts of Tibetan writers and former political prisoners remain unknown
In the renewed wave of the crackdown in Tibet since the beginning of the year, six prominent Tibetans, including former political prisoners and writers have been secretly arrested in Serthar County, Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, between late March and early April this year. The crackdown on communication has made it difficult for Tibet Watch’s sources to ascertain the identities of two of the arrested Tibetans. Details about all of their current whereabouts remain unknown.
Ahead of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and the 70th year of Chinese occupation in Tibet, Chinese authorities in Tibet are taking preemptive measures to ensure the smooth celebration of its centenary celebration. They are also forcefully demanding Tibetan participation in the program to promote the Chinese narrative that Tibetans are happy under CCP rule to local and global audiences.
Gangkye Drubpa Kyab
Amongst the arrested is Gangkye Drubpa Kyab, also known as Gangethak, a young Tibetan writer and a former political prisoner, who was arrested on the evening of 23 March 2021 around 5 pm local time. His writings are widely published in magazines and books. He has also written on the Tibetan struggle.
He was previously arrested by the police department of Serthar County on 15 February 2012 and released on 16 September 2016 after serving five years imprisonment. Due to the excessive beating and poor food while in prison, he suffered from malnourishment and developed multiple health complications, including loss of vision and amnesia, and heart and kidney problems.
Gangkye Drubpa Kyab was born in 1979, to Thupten Nyima and Wangthang Dolma in Kardze Prefecture, Serthar county. He is married to Wangchuk Lhatso and has two children.
Seynam, a Tibetan writer and environmentalist, was also secretly arrested on 23 March around 5:40 pm. Details about the reason for his arrest and his health condition were withheld by the Chinese authorities in the region.
He was previously arrested by the Chinese authorities of Serthar county, Karze Prefecture on 15 September 2020 along with ten other Tibetans, for holding a meeting on the welfare of Tibetan parents. His father’s name is Dungkar and his mother’s name is Liutso.
Tibetan activist Gangbu Yudrum from Serthar county was arrested on 22 March 2021, and his whereabouts and reasons for arrest were also not given. He had previously been imprisoned for three years for his role in the 2008 Tibetan protest in his region where he raised the banned Tibetan flag and called for the return of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama. He was released on 19 February 2011 but arrested again on 14 May 2012 and was imprisoned for two years for his role in promoting a volunteer “Protest group against Communist China” ༼དམར་རྒོལ་གདོང་ལེན་ཚོགས་པ༽ along with some of his friends.
On 2 April 2021, the Chinese authorities in Serthar County arrested another Tibetan activist and former political prisoner, Tsering Dolma. She had previously been arrested in 2008 and 2012 for taking part in the protest against China, and beaten while in prison.
Due to the excessive beating and torture, she suffered perennial health complications of amnesia, epileptic fits, heart disease, and a broken elbow. She has been regularly kept under the close watch of security forces by requiring her to register her presence in the village, thus restricting her movement.
Tsering Dolma hails from Taktse Village, Serthar county, Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Her father, Solo, was also arrested along with her in 2008. Her mother’s name is Tsokyi. She has two kids along with her husband Karma Wangchuk.
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