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A Monk of Labrang Monastery abducted in a raid

July 10, 2009

TCHRD PRESS RELEASE
Dated: 9 July 2009

A Tibetan monk of Labrang Monastery in Sangchu County (Ch:Xiahe Xian )
Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) "Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture" ('TAP') Gansu Province
was arbitrarily abducted from his residence during a raid in May this year,
according to confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human
Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

Tsayul Kelsang Gyatso was hailed from Tsayul Village in Sangchu County,
Kanlho "TAP" Gansu Province. He was ordained as a monk at Labrang Monastery
at an early age. He was a student of the dialectics school of Labrang
Monastery at the time of his abduction. Tsayul Kelsang Gyatso was abducted
from his residence when a sudden raid was carried out by a large number of
Sangchu County Public Security Bureau (PSB) forces in the evening of 22 May
2009.

According to sources, he was taken with his head covered with black cloth by
the security forces during the raid. The exact reason for his abduction was
not known at the moment, but sources told the Centre that he could have been
abducted under the suspicion of his past involvement in political
activities. Labrang County in particular witnessed one of the biggest and
most sustained protests last year. Tsayul Kelsang Gyatso was known to have
been closely watched and followed by security forces before being
arbitrarily abducted in a raid in his Labrang Monastery's residence quarter.
There is no information on his current whereabouts and physical well being.

This is not the first known case of the abduction of a Tibetan monk in the
Labrang Monastery. On 14 May 2009, two monks of the same monastery were
arrested during a raid. The whereabouts of the arrestees still remain
unknown to their family members.

TCHRD strongly condemns the arbitrary abduction of Tsayul Kelsang Gyatso
from his residence. TCHRD also calls upon the government of the People's
Republic of China (PRC) to immediately release all the Tibetan prisoners of
conscience arbitrarily detained over the peaceful exercise of their
fundamental human rights. It is matter of great concern that monastic
institutions in particular have come under a severe clampdown in the recent
past. There are still hundreds of Tibetans whose whereabouts and current
status remain unknown to their family members and close associates. The
government should guarantee, under all circumstances, the physical and
psychological integrity of Tsayul Kelsang Gyatso and ensure that his family
members are informed of his whereabouts and wellbeing.
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