Home / Human Rights Update 1998 / Monks and nuns arrested

Monks and nuns arrested

More reports of arrests and expulsions of monks and nuns in Tibet have been received in connection to the “Strike Hard” campaign.

In October 1996, six monks of Taktsang Lhamo Monastery in Kannan prefecture in Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Region Prefecture were arrested by local PSB officials. The six monks were alleged to have instigated a crowd to revolt against Chinese oppression and to have hoisted a Tibetan national flag in a prominent place in Kannan prefecture. It was said that this was the first time such political activity had taken in Kannan Prefecture and the PSB therefore took it very seriously and vowed to punish the culprits.

The monks were arrested separately from their monastic quarters in the early evening and four of them were detained in Kannan prefecture prison. The other two were held in Lochi county prison, also in Kannan prefecture.

Another similar incident was reported from the same monastery. Anti-Chinese wall posters were pasted calling attention to Chinese occupation of Tibet and demanding that China quit Tibet.

When the PSB came to know of the poster it was removed and ripped apart. An investigation is reportedly being conducted but thus far no one has been arrested in connection to this incident.

In November 1997, several monks from Sabgag Ghar Monastery in Taktse county in “TAR” staged an anti-China demonstration in Lhasa and pasted posters on the main gate of Taktse county government office. Seven of the monks were arrested for participating in the demonstration and five were arrested for pasting wall posters. Their sentences ranged from 2 to 5 years.

A “re-education” work tea arrived at Sabgag Ghar Monastery in September 1996 at which time the monastery had 70 monks. Many of the monks refused to comply with the work-team demands and many monks left the monastery because they could not accept the requirement that they oppose the Dalai Lama. The monastery is reported to now have just 30 monks.

Four nuns of Nyemo Nunnery were arrested from their residential quarters in the nunnery in October 1997 by Chinese authorities. The four nuns, Sangay Choedon, Tsering Choezom, Dekyi Yangzom and Thinley Dolkar, were initially held in Gutsa Detention Centre in Lhasa and later, after their sentences were passed, they were transferred to Lhasa’s Drapchi Prison.

Sangay Choedon was charged as the “leader” of the group and was sentenced to six years imprisonment while the others were each sentenced to four years. Other nuns of Nyemo nunnery who visited the four nuns in prison to take them food described their condition as pathetic.

While the reason for the nuns’ arrest is unconfirmed, it is believed that it may have followed from an incident that occurred while a Chinese “re-education” work team was in the monastery. A seven-member work team entered Nyemo nunnery in March 1997 and reportedly stayed for six months. Six nuns were expelled from the nunnery during the work team session.


Check Also

Arrested on return from India

Tsultrim was arrested by the Public Security Bureau in November 1997 in the town of …