Tibetan poet found detained after months of disappearance

Cover of Tsol (Eng: Search), a poetry collection authored by Lobsang Namgyal who had been detained since May 2012.
Cover of Tsol, a poetry collection authored by Lobsang Namgyal who had been detained since May 2012.

A Tibetan man who authored a book of poetry was found detained nine months after his disappearance from his work place in Chengdu city in Sichuan Province.

According to information received by TCHRD, Lobsang Namgyal, 26, was secretly detained sometime around 15 May 2012 from Buddha Cultural Centre, where he was working as a part-time employee in Chengdu. For months, his family members and relatives made many attempts to find him but to no avail. Local sources cite unsubstantiated information that he was picked up by Public Security Bureau officers from the centre.

Under the pseudonym Sangmig (Eng: Secret Eye), Lobsang Namgyal had authored a collection of poetry titled Tsol (Eng: Search) in which he wrote about his life’s goals and about the state of fellow Tibetans. In February 2013, sources learned that he was being held at a detention centre in Chengdu.

More than a year after his arbitrary detention, the police have yet to press formal charges against Lobsang Namgyal. Sources say local authorities suspect him of publishing and distributing speeches of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other political contents. Since his detention, his family members have been barred from visiting him. As the police take their time in charging him, sources say family members of Lobsang Namgyal live in constant fear that he would be given a heavy sentence without any access to due legal process and a fair trial.

Lobsang Namgyal had been detained earlier in 2008 when widespread protests broke out in Machu (Ch: Maqu) County in Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province. He was among the six Tibetans detained from a local Nangma nightclub.

An undated photograph of Lobsang Namgyal
An August 2008 photograph of Lobsang Namgyal

Lobsang Namgyal is a native of Kongney Ruchen Village in Belpen Township, Machu County. Son of Mr Tseten and Mrs Pema, Lobsang Namgyal completed his high school from Ragya Sherig Ling, a private school run by the famous Ragya Monastery in Golog (Ch: Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

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