Tibetan teacher arrested after China forced Tibetan medium school to shut

DHARAMSALA, 11 Aug: A Tibetan Teacher from a school in Golok, Eastern Tibet that the Chinese authorities forced to shut down last month has been arrested allegedly on ‘separatism’ charges.

Rinchen Kyi, a teacher from Singdruk Taktse private school, that was abruptly closed by Chinese authorities last month has been arrested, apparently on charges of ‘separatism’, the London-based advocacy group Free Tibet said.

Singdruk Taktse school was forced to shut down in July amid increasing reports in recent years of Chinese authorities’ systematic shutdown of schools where the primary medium of instruction is Tibetan.

While the Chinese authorities have not yet come forth with an explanation for shutting down the school, all the students have been advised to enroll in other government-affiliated schools in the region where the medium of instruction is Chinese. 

The closure of the school, the report said  has greatly upset Kyi, and that “she had not been eating properly for several weeks and refusing medical help.”

“Before her family could seek help for her, she was arrested on charges of separatism and taken to a hospital hundreds of kilometers away in the Qinghai provincial capital of Xining,” the report said.

The report further added that the authorities now say that she has been “transferred to another hospital but will not say where,” leaving her husband, her 13-year-old daughter, and her 79-year-old mother, all in anxious.

John Jones, Campaigns and Advocacy Manager of the advocacy group has stated in the report that “the Chinese Communist Party’s attempts to eradicate Tibetans’ unique culture, language and identity have been significantly stepped up over the past decade as a direct legacy of the brutal crackdown the CCP launched in Tibet before the 2008 Beijing Olympics in response to peaceful protests.”

On the arrest of Rinchen Kyi,  he said “It’s hard to imagine how hard it must have been for Rinchen Kyi when her school was abruptly closed and her pupils scattered, or for her family not knowing where a beloved wife, mother, and daughter is now. Teachers should always be free to teach children valuable lessons about their culture without fear of persecution. In the absence of any recognizable crime, Rinchen Kyi must immediately be released.”

Declaring repression in Tibet at an all-time high, Jones called for the world leaders to boycott the 2022 winter Olympics in Beijing.

“With the Winter Olympics just a few months away, and the repression in Tibet at an all-time high, action must be taken to turn the tide. World leaders must boycott the Winter Olympics and demand Tibetans be allowed their right to freedom of expression.”

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