Approximately eight months ago, the four monks were taken by Chinese security forces from the city of Tridu (Chinese: Chengdu). They have not been heard from since.
- Thinley, business manager for the Drango monastery.
- Tashi (or Dralha) Thupgyal, accountant for Drango monastery.
- Tulku Lobsang Tenzin, from Gochen monastery.
- Geshe Tsewang Namgyal, teacher and academic from Drango monastery.
Protests in Drango
After protests in Drango in January 2012, when Chinese forces opened fire on protesters killing two and injuring dozens more, the four monks travelled to Tridu.
They hadn't been involved in the protests but Chinese State Security forces may have thought they were about to share information about what had happened. Some of the four are thought to have been seized by security forces when they were in an internet cafe.
We don't know how the Chinese authorities knew they were in the internet cafe, but we do know that Tibetans have to produce identity papers to use the internet, and that the Chinese state has hardware that allows them to closely monitor internet traffic.
There is no information available about the wherabouts or wellbeing of any of the four monks since they were seized between 25 and 28 January 2012. Free Tibet has grave concerns for their well-being.
The Drango Four are just a few of the hundreds of Tibetans who have been disappeared by Chinese forces.
Many who have survived Chinese detention centres in the past have confirmed that they had been the victims of torture in prison. Those who are disappeared, like these four monks, are at particular risk of torture.