Jigme Guri detained

1st December 2011

Jigme Guri also known as Lama Jigme Gyatso, a senior monk from Labrang Monastery, is believed to have been in detention since 20 August 2011. The reason for his detention, whereabouts and well-being were unknown for over a month. On 5 October, Radio Free Asia reported that he is being held in the Kanlho Public Security Bureau detention center, citing the man’s brother, named Sonam. “After he had been missing for several weeks, the Kanlho Public Security Bureau confirmed that they are holding him,” Sonam said. “They wouldn’t say why he is detained, but they told our family that he could face a term in jail if he doesn’t abide by state law.” Guri Jigme, 44, has already been detained twice - in 2008 and 2009. In 2008 he was tortured so badly he almost died and spent months recovering. He recorded his testimony on video which was posted on youtube.com. Jigme was detained on 20 August 2011 in his hotel in Taoyuan Hotel in Tso City, Ganlho Tibetan Autonomous Region, 72 km away from Labrang Monastery. Jigme was invited to Tso to attend a cultural evening party attended by some well-known Tibetan singers. He arrived in Tso on 19 August. According to reliable sources, by 2pm on 20 August Jigme had been detained and was held in his hotel room with a dozen plain-clothes police with two soldiers guarding his room at least until the dawn of 21 August. His whereabouts were unknown between 20 August and 5 October. Around 5pm on 21 August Jigme’s room in Labrang Monastery was searched by dozens of police and soldiers. They opened his residence with the key left at the top of the doorframe. It is believed Jigme might have told them where to find the key. They took two of Jigme’s computers and smaller and larger photos of the Dalai Lama. The frames of the largest photos were left on the wall. Jigme’s store room was also searched. According to a witness the authorities left the rooms tidy after the search with each object put back in its place neatly. The residence of one of Jigme’s brother was also searched and photographss of the Dalai Lama removed. Gedun Phuntsok, a former student of Lama Jigme's who lives in India, appeals to the international community.: "This is third time my teacher Jigme is in detention. This time those people who detained him and searched his house are probably not from the local authority. It seems they are from provincial government organs. I think the Chinese government is planning to arrest him this time. He was detained and tortured in 2008. He had to get medical treatment for a long time and his mother cared for him in the hospital then. His situation is uncertain this time. I feel very worried about how the authorities are treating him now. Therefore, I appeal to the people who love freedom and justice all over the world to do all they can to help set Jigme free."