Young Tibetans arrested over messages written in sand

18th February 2014

Independence slogans too much for authorities

Chinese authorities have arrested six Tibetan youths for writing "get independence to Tibet" in sand on the ice of a frozen river. The boys were told that officials in their village had seen their activities.

Children targeted by China

The youngest of the boys charged, Sesom Dorjee, is 15 - the eldest is 20. They live in Sog County in central Tibet. Sog is very close to Driru County, the scene of intense repression in recent months. Children are often the victims of China's oppressive policies in Tibet. A number of teenagers have been arrested for organising demonstrations and some have even set themselves alight in protest against Chinese rule.

Orwellian surveillance

Groups of official cadres are permanently posted in some Tibetan areas, particularly those where there is known or suspected separatist sentiment and activity. Their purpose is to monitor the activities and movement of residents as well as educating them about government policies. The whereabouts and conditions of the young men arrested in Sog County are unknown.

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