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Tibetan man arrested for participating in 2008 uprising

A Tibetan man, 34, was arrested in Machu (Ch: Maqu) County of Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province.

Shonu Palden, a nomad by occupation, was arrested on 18 June 2012 from a local restaurant in Belpen Township by Chinese security personnel who came in four vehicles in Machu County.

On 20 June, a group of 10 local Tibetans approached the county authorities to inquire about the abrupt arrest. Only five Tibetans from the group were allowed to go inside the office to make inquiries. They were told Shonu Palden on suspicion that he spearheaded protests in Machu County in 2008. The officials then asked the group to leave and that Shonu Palden would remain in detention for a month for interrogation, after which decisions would be made.

During the 2008 uprising in Tibet, Tibetans in Machu County staged protests for three days in March. Chinese authorities had then issued order for Shonu Palden’s arrest but he managed to escape by hiding away in the surrounding mountains for many months, sources told TCHRD.

In December 2011, local authorities issued a final order asking Shonu Palden to voluntarily turn himself in for which his punishments would be lessened. But he continued to evade arrest.

Shonu Palden’s elder brother, Tashi Gyatso, had also been detained on 8 April 2010 by the police. Gyatso, a monk at Sarma Monastery in Machu County, was suspected of “accessing and sharing banned Tibetan content on the internet, contacting by phone with foreign [Tibetan] contacts, and connecting a television in his room to watch foreign broadcasts [Voice of America-a banned Tibetan language radio broadcast].” He remained in incommunicado detention for months but was later released.

Shonu belongs to a nomadic family in Rongkor village, Belpen Township, Machu County in Kanlho TAP, Gansu Province. Son of Mr. Gontse and Mrs. Dechen, he is married with two children.

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