Tibetan youth detained and tortured for storing images of Dalai Lama on mobile phone

DHARAMSALA, Feb 1: Chinese authorities have detained a Tibetan youth and beaten him in custody for having stored pictures and speeches of the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his mobile phone.

Norgyay, a labour from Dingri county of Shigatse prefecture in Tibet Autonomous Region was arrested in the region’s capital, Lhasa on Jan. 14 during a random police check on the stored content of mobile phones carried by Tibetans, reported Radio Free Asia citing a source in Nepal with contacts in the area as saying.

Norgyay’s whereabouts remained unknown until Jan 22 when it was learnt that he was being held at a detention center near Lhasa’s Ramoche neighborhood.

Norgyay, who had shared the photos and the audio recordings of the Tibetan spiritual leader’s teachings with others, was tortured in custody and Chinese police are said to have warned him to sever all connections with the outside world.

Tibetans, who are found in possession of images and recordings of the Tibetan spiritual leader, Tibetan national flag, Tibetan songs asserting Tibetan national and cultural identity and images of self-immolations on their mobile phones, are arrested, tortured and in some cases sentenced to lengthy jail terms.

Kalsang, a Tibetan mother of three was arrested by Chinese authorities in October last year from Nagchu area in TAR for circulating photos of the Tibetan leader on the social networking application, WeChat.

Also last year, Ngawang Topden, a 20-yr-old student of thangka painting from Jomda region of eastern Tibet was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for storing images of Tibetan self-immolations and the Tibetan national flag on his mobile phone.