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A lone protester calling for proper allocation of earthquake relief arrested

May 7, 2010

Dated: 3 May 2010

An exile Tibetan returnee was arrested yesterday for staging a solo
protest in front of Tsuglakhang in Lhasa, according to confirmed
information received from reliable source by the Tibetan Centre for
Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).
 
Samdup Gyatso, a 28-year-old was arrested by around seven Public
Security Bureau (PSB) officials during his brief solo protest in front
of Tsuglakhang temple in Lhasa yesterday. According to sources, at
around 3:20 PM (Beijing standard time) during the pick hour for
religious activities around the Tsuglakhang temple, Samdup Gyatso staged
a lone protest carrying banned Tibetan national flag in hand and had
another stitched on the back of his shirt and shouted slogans calling
for the ?quick return of the exiled Tibetan leader to Tibet,? ?release
Panchen Lama? and ?proper allocation and delivery of earthquake relief
received from international donors to the much needed nomadic
communities in Kyegudo.? He was immediately arrested by PSB officials
and whisked off in a police vehicle. There is no information on his
current whereabouts. 
 
Samdup Gyatso was born in a nomad family in Haiyan County, Tsochang (Ch:
Haibei) ?Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture? (?TAP?) in Qinghai Province. He
was a former student of Sherab Gatsel Lobling, a Transit School for
newly arrived adult Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala. Before that he was
also a monk of Jabdrung Gartok Monastery. Samdup came into exile in
November 2007 and studied for a year at Sherab Gatsel Lobling School. In
March 2008, he returned to Tibet via Tibet-Nepal border of Dram and was
arrested for carrying several books of speeches by the Dalai Lama and
subsequently detained at Shigatse PSB Detention Centre for a month. He
was later shifted to Drapchi Prison where he spent next six months. He
went back to his hometown after his release from prison in October 2008.
 
This was the second known case of a Tibetan getting arrested in
connection with the recent earthquake that devastated the Tibetan areas
of Kyegudo (Ch: Yushu/Jiegu)  in Qinghai Province killing thousand of
Tibetans and injuring tens of thousands. Earlier on 23 April, Tagyal, a
renowned Tibetan writer in Xining was arrested for signing an open
letter of condolence to the victims of the disaster that criticized the
Chinese government?s handling of the earthquake relief efforts. The open
letter was written by a group of prominent Tibetan intellectuals based
in Xining, Qinghai Province just three days after the earthquake. Tagyal
writes with the pen name ?Shogdung? (morning conch) and worked for the
Nationalities Publishing House in Xining. 
 
TCHRD condemns in strongest term over the arbitrary arrest of Samdup
Gyatso. His action constitutes nothing more than a peaceful exercise of
fundamental human rights enshrined in the Constitution of the People?s
Republic of China and other major international human rights covenants
that PRC is a signatory. The Centre believes the grievances expressed by
Samdup during the protest represent views shared by a broad spectrum of
Tibetans in Tibet.

NB: For picture of Samdup Gyatso visit our website www.tchrd.org
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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