China Arrests Tibetan Monk for Possessing Dalai Lama Photo

By Tsering Choephel

China Arrests Tibetan Monk for Possessing Dalai Lama Photo. Representative image.

DHARAMSALA, 20 February: Tenzin Khenrap, a Tibetan monk from Nyagchu county in Kardze, in the traditional Tibetan province of Kham, was arrested by Chinese authorities in July last year for possessing a photo of the Dalai Lama, reported Radio Free Asia on 15 February. 

Khenrap, 29 years old, whose pen name is Dhong Rangchak, had his mobile phone inspected by Chinese officials. They found a portrait of the Dalai Lama, along with other books and documents published outside Tibet, on his phone and subsequently arrested him, according to the report which cites two sources from Tibet who requested anonymity for safety reasons.  Possession of the Dalai Lama’s photo in Tibet has been banned for decades by Chinese authorities.

Following his arrest, Khenrab was reportedly detained but his current location and circumstances remain unknown. Authorities have also revoked access to his social media accounts.

Moreover, the Chinese officials have not allowed Khenrab’s family members to meet him since his arrest and have kept them in the dark without providing any information about the place of his detention, as per the report. 

The report adds that his mother’s health has deteriorated due to worrying about her son since his arrest last year.

According to the report, Khenrab is known for his ardent interest in and following of developments in Tibet’s struggle against China’s repression and for writing articles online.

Khenrap had studied in several monasteries in Kham, including Lithang Gonchen, Sershul, and Nalendra, which Tulku Tenzin Delek founded. The late Tulku Tenzin Delek, widely known for his efforts to develop social, medical, educational, and religious institutions for Tibetan nomads in eastern Tibet, was arrested by Chinese authorities in 2002 and sentenced to death on trumped-up charges, which were later commuted to life imprisonment in 2005. Despite major international campaigns for his release, he was announced dead on 12 July 2015.

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