12/11/2019

Tibetan monk arbitrarily detained after months of police surveillance

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Tsewang Chophel
Tsewang Chophel

A Tibetan monk was arrested and forcibly taken away by local police in Tawu (Ch: Daofu) County in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in the Tibetan province of Kham.

Tsewang Chophel, 26, who is a monk at Nyitso Monastery, was detained on 18 May 2015. According to a source, “At around 10.30 am, while Tsewang Chophel was approaching on his bike, he was suddenly arrested by the Chinese police near the Chikshe village.”

As of now, no one knows the reason behind his arrest and his physical condition.

According to local Tibetans in Tawu, however, Tsewang Chophel had been under police surveillance ever since Tibetans in Tawu protested against the Chinese authorities following the self-immolation of monk Kelsang Yeshi on 23 December 2014.

Tsewang Chophel
Tsewang Chophel

“As the peaceful protests were violently cracked down upon, Tibetans got furious and threw rocks at the policemen; they showed all sorts defiance to the police,” said the source.

The source further said, “Since then Tsewang Chopel has been under the suspicion of the Chinese police. He has been constantly spied on. The local Tibetans speculate that while he was on the road on his bike, the police suddenly arrested him.”

Tsewang Chophel hails from Khucha Village in Mazur Township, Tawu County.