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Tibetan man held incommunicado following solo protest

February 29, 2016

Radio Free Asia, February 26, 2016 - Authorities in southwestern China’s Sichuan province have detained a Tibetan man after he launched a solo protest in restive Kardze county in a bold public challenge to Beijing’s rule, Tibetan sources in the region and in exile said.

Jamyang Dorje, 41, was taken into custody shortly after 11:00 a.m. on Feb. 14 on a road leading to the Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) county seat in the Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, a Tibetan living in India told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“He was shouting for the return of [exiled spiritual leader] the Dalai Lama and demanding freedom for Tibet when he reached an intersection of three roads, where he was quickly overpowered and taken away,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity and citing local sources.

“Ten days have now passed since he was detained, but no word has been received regarding his condition or where he is being held,” he said, adding, “His relatives don’t know if he is being held somewhere in Kardze or if he has been taken deeper into China.”

The source identified Dorje as a resident of Seshi village, located just across a river that flows near Kardze town. His father and mother, both deceased, were named Sangye Gyatso and Rigdzin Lhadzom, he said.

“He remained a bachelor so that he could take care of his younger brother,” he said.

After Dorje was detained, authorities quickly recorded the phone numbers of his in-laws and other close relatives in order to block attempts to send news of the detention to outside contacts, RFA’s source said.

Tibetans living in Kardze prefecture are known for their strong sense of Tibetan national identity and frequently stage protests alone or in groups opposing rule by Beijing.

Sporadic demonstrations challenging Chinese rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008, with 143 Tibetans to date setting themselves on fire to oppose Beijing’s rule and call for the Dalai Lama’s return.

Reported by Sonam Wangdu for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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