Seven Tibetans arrested for spreading rumours about coronavirus

Coronavirus outbreak
Coronavirus outbreak
Coronavirus outbreak
19th February 2020

More updates about the virus inside Tibet.

Chinese authorities have continued a rigorous response in monitoring online discussions about the coronavirus, including arrests of Tibetans found to be spreading news about the virus and cancelling gatherings to mark Tibetan New Year. 

They have reportedly arrested seven Tibetans on charges of spreading rumours or misinformation about the virus. They are from Chamdo in central Tibet

Tse, a Tibetan man, was among those arrested for reportedly messaging people on WeChat to recite a particular prayer in order to ward off the virus. 

The arrival of coronavirus has come at a particularly sensitive time as Losar, the Tibetan New Year, begins on 24 February. The anniversaries of the 10 March Uprising and the 2008 Tibetan protests are also in a few weeks. Public religious festivities and celebrations for Losar have been cancelled in light of the virus. 

Meanwhile, Tibetan monasteries and communities across Tibet have been collecting donations to fund face masks and goggles and distributing them. Kumbum Monastery has reportedly also donated 1 million yuan to assist people in Wuhan in Hubei Province in China, the location of the initial outbreak of the virus. 

 

TAKE ACTION

In Tibet the Chinese Communist Party oversees what some have called the world's largest open air prison. The authorities have the power to switch the light on and off, peering into Tibetans' emails one moment and making political prisoners vanish from their families and friends, apparently into darkness, the next. Help us push for Tibet's hidden political prisoners to be found and released.