Monk in Ngaba arrested for solo protest

Lobsang Tsering
Lobsang Tsering

8th June 2016

Lobsang Tsering’s protest captured on film shortly before his arrest off camera

A Tibetan monk, Lobsang Tsering, was arrested after carrying out a solo protest in Ngaba County, eastern Tibet yesterday. The protest took place at around 4pm local time in Lhade Ghabma, a community near to Kirti Monastery.

Video footage of the protest shows Lobsang Tsering, 20, walking through the street holding a portrait of the Dalai Lama. During his protest he called out slogans wishing for the long life of the Dalai Lama.

Dangerous words

Slogans calling for the Dalai Lama’s long life or for his return to Tibet are illegal under Chinese rule, as are images of the Dalai Lama. Free Tibet has reported on cases in the recent past of Tibetans being arrested for such activities, with one monk, Thardhod Gyaltsen, receiving an 18-year prison sentence after being allegedly caught with images and recordings of the Dalai Lama during a police raid on his monastery in December 2013.

Lobsang Tsering was taken away by local police shortly after his peaceful protest. His current situation and whereabouts remain unknown.

There is still no news on the whereabouts or situation of several other solo protesters arrested in the past year. Losang Thubten, Tashi Dhondup and Sangay have all been arrested since December last year for carrying out protests similar to that of Lobsang Tsering. In each case police arrived at the scene of the protest and took them away.

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Religion in Tibet is subject to severe restrictions by the Chinese authorities, who recognise its central role in Tibetans' resistance to the occupation.  As part of its attempts to control religion in Tibet, China intends to install its own Dalai Lama, despite total opposition by Tibetans. Stand up for Tibetans' right to choose their own religious leaders.