Over 30 Tibetans arrested for celebrating Dalai Lama’s birthday in Garze 

Chinese officials during digital surveillance operations that led to a series of arrests as the Chinese government’s crackdown on Tibet’s religion and culture escalated in recent months.

DHARAMSALA, 22 July: As many as 30 Tibetans have been arrested or celebrating the Dalai Lama’s 86th birthday last week says Free Tibet, the London-based advocacy group.

“The arrests were made by Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers in Kyaglung Town, Garze Tibet Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province in China,” the advocacy group said citing inputs from its research partner Tibet Watch.

According to the report, except for “Kunchok Tashi and Dzapo, who were arrested allegedly for sharing photos of the  Dalai Lama on social media and encouraging others to recite Tibetan prayers for his long and healthy life,” there is no information available about the others.”

John Jones, Campaigns and Advocacy Manager at Free Tibet, has said that “For decades the Chinese government jackboot has been trying to choke the life out of traditional Tibetan culture. In the name of civilisation and modernisation, and to crush any potential resistance to their rule, leaders in Beijing have labelled thousands of years of incredible Tibetan culture as primitive and made it illegal.”

He added that “World leaders who do not stand up to China are complicit in Tibetan culture suffocating under Chinese oppression. Some good steps have been taken in recent years but governments must move further and faster if freedom for Tibetans is ever to be a reality.”

The report noted that the arrests are connected to increased digital surveillance operations in the area and that these are just the latest in a series of arrests as the Chinese government’s crackdown on Tibetan religion and culture has escalated in recent months.

These arrests succeeded the detention of four Tibetans in Serthar County allegedly for the possession of images of the Dalai Lama on their mobile phones and the PSB officers interrogated monks in the Jangchup Gayphel Monastery in Dartsang Township after a raid.


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