Reporters Without Borders
Saturday 12 June 2010, by
Reporters Without Borders condemns two new serious cases of detention and use of violence against Tibetan journalists and writers in the past few days.
Two magazine editors were arrested by police in Chengdu on 5 June and were mistreated all night before being released, while a writer and monk was arrested without a warrant for the second time in 13 months on 24 May in Ngaba, in eastern Tibet, and has been held ever since without being able to see his family.
“The Chinese authorities are offering an idealised vision of a peaceful Tibet in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo but the information coming from the Tibetan areas is very different,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Arrests, violence and surveillance are the common lot of those who defend Tibetan identity. We urge Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to give clear orders for the release of all imprisoned Tibetan intellectuals.”
Goyon and Thupten Gedun, the editors of the magazines Tibet and Purgyal Kyi Namshey (Soul of Ancient Kings), were circulating on foot in Chengdu on the evening of 5 June when around 15 policemen descended from two vehicles, used tear-gas on them, and then took them to a police station. After confiscating their mobile phones, cameras, ID cards and wallets, they tied them to chairs and interrogated them.
“The police officers used violence to interrogate us,” the journalists said. “They asked us about our work and our political activities, all the while hitting us. They also threatened us by putting guns against our heads. When we asked what we had done wrong, they hit us even harder.” One of them was tortured with electrical equipment to make him confess.
“The next day, the police checked our police records and discovered they were empty. So they let us go, but not without threatening to arrest us again.”
In Ngaba, writer Dokru Tsultrim was arrested on 24 May in Gomang monastery, where he has been staying for the past five years. A relative living in exile in the Indian city of Dharamsala said he was arrested because of two articles by him that have been published.
“Dokru Tsultrim refused to give his laptop to the police but they confiscated documents they found in his room,” the relative said. “Until now our family has been denied the right to see him.” Tsultrim is very involved in promoting literature among young Tibetans but is not a member of in any political movement, the source added.
Information about Tsultrim’s previous arrest in 2009
Reporters Without Borders has also learned that the authorities plan to make the inhabitants of Lhasa show their ID in order to be able to photocopy any document. And only permanent residents will be able to make photocopies. This new restriction appears to be aimed at preventing the circulation of "separatist" documents.