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Tibetan woman, 20, detained in connection with Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday

Tashi Kyi
Tashi Kyi

On 2 July 2015, a 20-year-old Tibetan woman was arbitrarily detained by local Chinese police in connection with the 80th birthday celebration of the Dalai Lama in Meuruma Township in Amdo Province of Tibet.

Tashi Kyi, a Tibetan nomad, was taken to Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. There is no information on the exact location of her detention.

Tashi Kyi grew up with her nomad parents, Monu and Tsering Kyi – never attended formal schooling and was raised a nomad. At the time of her detention, she was living with her parents.

Sources in Tibet believe that the detention was related to some activities that took place at the 80th birthday celebration of the Dalai Lama in Meuruma Township. It remains unclear what she did on 21 June, the 80th birthday of the Tibetan spiritual leader, according the Tibetan calendar.

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) calls on the Chinese authorities to make public the reasons for Tashi Kyi’s unlawful detention. There should be no lawful reasons for detaining someone for peacefully celebrating her spiritual leader’s birthday. This is one of the most basic of human rights. China must not merely talk about rule of law but also practice it.

TCHRD expresses deep concern over the safety and security of Tashi Kyi and many other Tibetans who are arbitrarily detained and kept in incommunicado detention where they risked being subjected torture and possibly death. Tashi Kyi was detained a day after China adopted the draconian new National Security Law on 1 July 2015. Article 27 of the new law says that the PRC protects freedom of religion but then lists duties and responsibilities for religious management, including opposing foreign influence and interference. Chinese authorities view any acknowledgment of the Dalai Lama, including possession of his teachings, praying for his long life or celebrating his birthday, as counter to the Party. The second section of the National Security Law contains a list of 18 items that are considered part of the PRC’s national security such as: religious beliefs (Article 27); resisting “negative cultural influences” (Article 23); and ethnic minorities (Article 26).

 

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