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Tibetan TV reporter and entertainer detained in China

April 17, 2008


BEIJING April 16, 2008 (AP) — A Tibetan television reporter and
entertainer has been detained by Chinese security forces in the wake of
last month's anti-government protests across Tibetan areas of the
country, her husband said Wednesday.

Jamyang Kyi has worked for state-run Qinghai TV in the western province
of the same name for two decades. She also writes and records songs in
the Tibetan language and performs abroad, sometimes alongside musicians
associated with the Dalai Lama's Tibetan government-in-exile, which
Beijing accuses of orchestrating recent violence.

Her husband, Lamao Jia, told The Associated Press she was first detained
on April 1 and has not been seen since April 7. He said he didn't know
who had taken his wife into custody.

"Everything is a mess right now," said Lamao Jia, who works at Qinghai
TV's entertainment department.

While there was no official confirmation of her detention, Jamyang Kyi
appears to be one of the highest profile figures targeted in a
wide-ranging crackdown on dissent that followed the widespread protests
against Chinese rule.

Jamyang Kyi is not known to have had past trouble with authorities and
it wasn't clear what drew their interest this time. However, Beijing
maintains strict controls over culture and education among Tibetans.

Chinese state media has reported more than 3,000 people have either
answered calls to surrender to police or been captured, with at least
1,870 released because they committed only minor offenses.

Protests in Lhasa turned violent on March 14, with hundreds of shops
torched and Chinese civilians attacked. China says 22 people died in the
riots, though the Tibetan government-in-exile says more than 140 people
were killed. Xinhua said 94 people were injured in violence from March
14-19 in Gannan, a Tibetan prefecture in Gansu province bordering on the
Tibetan Autonomous Region.

There have been about 96 demonstrations since protests began March 10,
with all but one of them in Tibet and three neighboring provinces in
western China, according to research by Robert Barnett, a Tibet expert
at Columbia University.

About 15 of the demonstrations involved violence, the worst being the
anti-Chinese riot in Lhasa on March 14, Barnett said.

Jamyang Kyi's arrest was also reported by U.S.-government supported
Radio Free Asia, which cited unidentified sources in Beijing as saying
police formally arrested her in the western city of Xining where she
lives. It said charges were unknown.

Lamao Jia said he was staying home to look after the younger of their
two children, but said the other was alone at school in Beijing. He
declined to elaborate further on his wife's situation for fear of
retaliation from authorities.

"If things go seriously bad, I will tell you everything," he said.

Chinese security services have in recent weeks questioned large numbers
of Tibetans who have traveled internationally, Radio Free Asia said,
without mentioning any other detentions.

Officers reached by phone at both the Xining and Qinghai provincial
police headquarters said they had no information about Jamyang Kyi.

Her boss at Qinghai TV's Tibetan language section, who like many
Tibetans uses a single name, Naba, said Jamyang Kyi had asked for leave
last week to return home to visit her father.

Along with her reporting and producing duties, Jamyang Kyi has released
several CDs of music blending modern pop and traditional Tibetan folk
music. She has also authored articles on issues including the
trafficking of girls and status of women in Tibetan society, according
to information online.

Associated Press writer Carley Petesch in New York contributed to this
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