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A Tibetan Detained and Tortured for Singing National Anthem in China

Pema Wangchen was recorded singing the anthem Feb. 13, the fifth day of the Tibetan New Year, in Ogzang Township, Ganze County, Sichuan.

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The Kumbum of the Palcho Monastery, Gyantse, Tibet. Luca Galuzzi - www.galuzzi.it. Wikimedia Commons
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A father of three of was reportedly detained and tortured by security officials for singing the Tibetan national anthem at a public gathering in China’s western Sichuan province.

Video of the Tibetan man singing the banned anthem at a public gathering in what appeared to be a village in the Tibet Autonomous Region went viral on Wechat in April.

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A Tibetan monk in India who knows the man told VOA’s Tibetan Service that Pema Wangchen, a single parent, was recorded singing the anthem Feb. 13, the fifth day of the Tibetan New Year, in Ogzang Township, Ganze County, Sichuan.

Tibet. Wikimedia Commons
Tibet. Wikimedia Commons

After the video surfaced, the man was detained for 15 days before being released in early May.

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Choe Gyaltsen, an exiled Tibetan who is also from Ganze County, says Wangchen, whose pinky finger is now paralyzed, was possibly suspended by his smallest finger during interrogation, during which he was repeatedly told that his “family members are all criminal.”

Buddha painted over a rock wall in Tibet. Wikimedia Commons
Buddha painted over a rock wall in Tibet. Wikimedia Commons

Wangchen’s brother, Palden Trelan, a monk from Ganze Monastery, was arrested in 2008 after he and two other monks marched through Ganze shouting “Long live the Dalai Lama,” according to a Radio Free Asia report in 2015.

Trelan had served seven years in prison by the time he was released May 18, 2015.

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA’s Tibetan Service.

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Twitter Warns Unusual Activity From Hackers in China and Saudi Arabia

Importantly, this issue did not expose full phone numbers or any other personal data

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Twitter warns 'unusual activity' from hackers in China, Saudi Arabia. Pixabay

Twitter has warned of “unusual activity” from state-sponsored actors based in China and Saudi Arabia after it found a bug that could have revealed the country code of users’ phone numbers or if their account was locked.

The revelation led to Twitter stock dropping nearly 7 per cent on Monday.

In a statement, Twitter said it discovered the bug on November 15 and fixed it a day later.

“During our investigation, we noticed some unusual activity involving the affected customer support form API. Specifically, we observed a large number of inquiries coming from individual IP addresses located in China and Saudi Arabia,” said the micro-blogging platform, used by over 336 million users, on one of its support forms.

“While we cannot confirm intent or attribution for certain, it is possible that some of these IP addresses may have ties to state-sponsored actors,” Twitter warned.

Twitter, India, Smartphone
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

The bug, said the company, could be used to discover the country code of people’s phone numbers if they had one associated with their Twitter account, as well as whether or not their account had been locked by Twitter.

Twitter locks an account if it appears to be compromised or in violation of its rules or Terms of Service.

“Importantly, this issue did not expose full phone numbers or any other personal data.

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“We have directly informed the people we identified as being affected. We are providing this broader notice as it is possible that other account holders we cannot identify were potentially impacted,” Twitter said, adding it is “sorry this happened”.

A Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch: “For our part, we are committed to understanding how bad-faith actors use our services. We will continue to proactively combat nefarious attempts to undermine the integrity of Twitter.” (IANS)