Tibetan man imprisoned for sharing books on WeChat

18th November 2019

Wangchuk has been in detention since March 

Free Tibet has learned of the detention of a Tibetan in southwest Tibet

Wangchuk, 45, from the Zurtso Township has been detained since 8 March 2019. 

His whereabouts remain unknown to his family. No information about his arrest or about the charges of his arrest have been released. 

His arrest is thought to be linked to information he shared online. Specifically, he shared books on the WeChat platform. The books were related to the Dalai Lama’s teachings and the Tibetan translation of ‘The Noodle maker of Kalimpong’, a book by Gyalo Thundup, who is an elder brother of the Dalai Lama. 

In China, and particularly in Tibet, anyone sharing or circulating such information online is deemed by the authority as a threat to the political stability, and the regime of the Chinese Communist Party.  

Following his arrest, his family members have reportedly been harassed by the authorities, who have imposed restrictions on movement and surveillance measures on them. The family’s welfare benefits, including subsidies and old-age insurance, have also been cancelled. 

In February 2018, the CCP launched what it called a “fight against underworld forces,” targeting what it calls organised criminal gangs. In practice, this crackdown has resulted in hundreds of Tibetans being arrested for activities such as criticising the CCP, sharing forbidden materials or participating in protests. Due to strict information controls, the full extent of the campaign and the total number of arrests has yet to emerge.