According to information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) from a reliable source, Kunchok Tsephel, who run a Tibetan language and culture website – Chomei (eng. Lamp) (http://www.tibetcm.com/index.html) was arrested at his home in Gannan “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture” (“TAP”), Gansu Province.
On 26 February 2009, the Chinese security in Machu arrested Kunchok Tsephel Gopey Tsang, a resident of Nyul-ra Township, Machu County, Gannan “TAP”, Gansu Province. He is currently said to be detained in one of the Public Security Bureau (PSB) Detention centres in Gannan “TAP”. The Centre also learned that Kunchok’s house was ransacked, his computer confiscated, and rooms searched for other incriminating materials.
Tsephel was born in 1970, studied Tibetan and Chinese languages from Primary School in Ngulra Township and Tibetan Middle School in Machu County. In 1989, he came to exile in India and enrolled at the Tibetan School in Suja, Bir where he studied Tibetan and English languages for three years. After the completion of his studies, he returned to Tibet in 1994.
In the third month of Tibetan lunar calendar in 1995, Security Bureau officials of Gansu Province, arrested Tsephel on suspicious grounds. At that time he was kept under custodial detention for two months and was subjected to torture and forced interrogation.
In 1996, he studied English and Chinese languages from Beijing Nationality University and from 1997, he studied English language from North Western Nationality University in Lanzhou for two years. On 2004, he was recruited as a Tibetan and English language teacher at the Tibetan Nationality Middle School in Machu County.
In collaboration with a young Tibetan poet Kyab-chen De-drol, Tsephel started a website on Tibetan arts and literature in 2005 called Chomei (eng. Lamp). The website was self funded with a mission to protect and promote the Tibetan arts and literature inside Tibet.
Their website was under the official supervision for many years, and was shut down many times between 2007 – 2008, but they remained undaunted. In fact they were able to operate and function their website till now.
This is not a new case, in the past, there were many cases of censorship, blockage and hacking of websites run by Tibetans highlighting their culture and difficulties face by the Tibetan people inside Tibet