Feb 20, 2012

Tibet: Prominent Writer Detained For Dissent

In a context of heightened tension in the Sichuan province, Tibetan writer Gangkye Drubpa Kyab was arrested by the authorities and has not been heard of since.

Below is an article published by The Guardian:

Chinese police have detained a Tibetan writer in a western county where there have been anti-government protests, an overseas Tibetan news service has reported, as China's crackdown against persisting unrest spreads.

More than 20 police officers took Gangkye Drubpa Kyab from his home in Serthar county's main town on Wednesday night and he had not been released, the Norway-based Voice of Tibet reported on Saturday. The story, which cited a Tibetan politician living in exile, said that when Drubpa Kyab's wife asked for a warrant, police told her they wanted to talk with him.

Police and government officials in Serthar and in Ganzi, the Sichuan province prefecture that administers Serthar, either could not be reached by telephone on Sunday or said they had not heard about the case.

Tibetans and the Chinese government in the region have been engaging in a cycle of protest and repression that erupted into violent unrest in recent weeks. More than 20 Tibetans have separately set themselves on fire to protest against controls on Buddhist monasteries and other repressive measures over the past year.

In response security forces have further tightened controls and increased arrests. US-based Human Rights Watch said last week that Chinese authorities had detained hundreds of Tibetans who recently returned from trips to India to attend sermons by the Dalai Lama, their exiled spiritual leader.

In Serthar, also known as Seda, Tibetan protesters clashed with security forces last month, leaving at least two Tibetans dead. The government said the protesters had attacked a police station. It was not known whether Drubpa Kyab was involved in the protests.

A Tibetan writer called Woeser living in Beijing said on her much-read blog that she was familiar with the 33-year-old Drubpa Kyab's writings. She said he was a Serthar native and had been a teacher and writer there for the past 10 years.

He would be at least the second cultural figure detained in the latest wave of arrests, following the reported arrest two weeks ago of Dawa Dorje, described as a civil servant and advocate for promoting traditional Tibetan music and culture.