Tibetan monk dies in Chinese detention

6th July 2012

A Tibetan monk has died while in Chinese detention following a solo protest calling for Tibetan independence.

36-year-old Karwang, a monk from Eastern Tibet, had been spreading pamphlets calling for religious rights, Tibetan independence and for the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet.

Nomadic resettlement

He was spreading the material in an area where the Chinese government has recently built 20 new houses for the purposes of 'nomadic resettlement', a policy enforced by the Chinese government in order to 'end the nomadic way of life in Tibet'.

After Karwang’s protest, he left the area for religious teaching but was arrested on his return and taken to the Kandze county detention centre by Public Security Bureau (PSB) personnel.

Harassment of family after death

Eight days after his detention, in the third week of May, Karwan's family received a call from the PSB informing them of their son’s death and instructing them to collect his body. The family are currently holding a traditional 49-day Tibetan death ceremony for him and continue to be harassed by local government.

Karwan was described as an honest and kind person who hadn't previously done anything political or illegal, living a simple monk’s life.