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China arrests a solo protester in Lithang

February 17, 2009

TCHRD PRESS RELEASE
Dated: 16 Feb 2009

A monk of Nekhor Monastery in Lithang County in Kardze "Tibetan
Autonomous Prefecture" ('TAP') was arrested for staging a peaceful solo
protest demonstration yesterday, according to confirmed information
received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD)
from reliable sources.

"At around 12 noon (Beijing Standard Time) yesterday, Lobsang Lhundup, a
monk of Nekhor Monastery staged a peaceful solo protest demonstration at
the main market square of Lithang town for about 15-20 minutes before
being forcibly detained by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) and People's
Armed Police (PAP). Lobsang chanted slogans 'Long Live the Dalai Lama,'
Independence for Tibet,' 'Swift return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet' and '
No Losar (Tibetan New Year) celebration this year,'" according to the
source.

Lobsang Lhundup is known to have been taken to the Lithang PSB Detention
Centre for further interrogation. According to eyewitnesses accounts
from the site of the demonstration, "Lobsang, who was limping with the
help of a walking stick, was forcibly subdued and taken in a police
vehicle after his brief protest at the main market."

Lobsang Lhundup, 38 years old, born in Gemo Village, Lithang County,
Kardze "TAP" was a monk of Nekhor Monastery, which is the primary
monastery of four adjoining villages. His family, a nomad, shifted their
base from Gemo Village to Lithang town a year and a half ago. According
to the source, Lobsang Lhundup returned home after completing annual
religious prayers at Nekhor Monastery a fortnight ago.

Lobsang Lhundup visited India in 2002 for the Kalachakra teaching at
Bodhgaya, which was cancelled owing to the Dalai Lama's ill health. He
stayed until the next teaching in January 2003 and returned to Tibet
after the teaching the same year.

TCHRD expresses its deepest concern over the detention of Lobsang
Lhundup and calls for his immediate release, as his act constitutes
nothing more than the peaceful exercise of freedom of expression and
thought. The authorities should ensure that Lobsang Lhundup is not
subjected to ill treatment in the detention centre. The Centre deems the
case as an outright clampdown on the freedom of opinion and expression
in Tibet. Freedom of expression, opinion and assembly are fundamental
human rights enshrined in the Chinese constitution and in UDHR.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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