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Tibetan Detained for Media Contact

May 30, 2008

More than two months after Tibet erupted in protests against China's
heavy-handed rule, Tibetan sources in the region report the arrest of
one of their own for allegedly making contact with Hong Kong media.
May 27, 2008

KATHMANDU -- Chinese authorities have detained a Tibetan man in
China's southwestern province of Sichuan for allegedly speaking with
foreign reporters about massive protests that swept the region
earlier this year, Tibetan sources said.

Nyima Drakpa was detained late April 19 in Tawu [in Chinese, Daofu]
county in Sichuan, an authoritative source said. "The security forces
came in three vehicles from China, and they were not local police,"
the source said.

"His relatives later learned that he was detained in Dartsedo but
they weren't allowed to contact him."

Dartsedo is the Tibetan name for the town called Kangding in Chinese.

ALLEGEDLY PASSED INFORMATION

"It was alleged that he sent photos of protests and passed
information to reporters in Hong Kong. He is a very smart person and
had many connections," the source said.

"He got a contact number from his source in Dharamsala and told a
Hong Kong reporter in Mandarin that the Tibetans weren't protesting
against the Chinese people, and certainly not against the Beijing
Olympics," the source said.

"He said there are no human rights for Tibetans and their religious
teachers aren't allowed to visit them in Tibet. So he stressed again
that they were not protesting against the Chinese people or trying to
obstruct the Olympics."

On April 5, Nyima Drakpa suspected he was in trouble when Chinese
officials mentioned several countries contacted from Tawu, another
source said, so he stopped staying at his own home.

"On the day of his arrest, he was coming to his sister's home with a
friend. So he was detained on the road, not by local police, but by
Public Security Bureau officers. They alleged that he contacted a
foreign reporter in Hong Kong," the second source said.

DETAINED ONCE BEFORE

Both sources said Nyima Drakpa had run afoul of the authorities in
the past by copying statements by the exiled Tibetan leader, the
Dalai Lama, for which he was jailed for 15 days.

He was later detained briefly for allegedly putting up posters
calling for Tibetan independence, but he was released when another
man confessed.

Tibetan residents of Tawu own some 500 trucks, local sources said,
200 of which are parked in Tawu blocking Chinese-owned trucks.
Residents said they weren't sure why but suspected the park-in
amounted to a protest against Chinese rule.

"PATRIOTIC EDUCATION"

Chinese authorities have made numerous arrests and launched a
"patriotic education" campaign aimed at Tibetans in the wake of
rioting that began in Lhasa in mid-March and then spread to other
Tibetan areas.

Beijing says 22 people were killed in the rioting. Tibetan sources
say scores of people were killed when Chinese paramilitary and police
opened fire on crowds of demonstrators.

Chinese authorities have blamed the Dalai Lama for instigating the
protests and fomenting a Tibetan independence movement. The Dalai
Lama rejects the accusation, saying he wants only autonomy and human
rights for Tibetans.

Original reporting in Kham by Tsewang Norbu and in Uke by Dolkar for
RFA's Tibetan service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Tibetan service
director: Jigme Ngapo. Written and produced in English by Sarah Jackson-Han.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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