Detained Tibetian Monk in China’s Sichuan Province, vanishes in Custody

Detained Tibetian Monk in China’s Sichuan Province, vanishes in Custody

September 29, 2016: A Tibetan monk detained in June by police in southwestern China's Sichuan province has vanished in custody, with authorities refusing to provide details of his whereabouts or any charges made against him, a local source says.

Lodroe, a monk enrolled at the Jonang monastery in Dzamthang (in Chinese, Rangtang) county, was seized by police on June 14 while walking with friends to buy food in neighboring Barkham (Ruo'ergai) county, a Tibetan living in the area told RFA's Tibetan Service on Tuesday.

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"He was taken away in handcuffs without explanation and has been held in custody ever since," RFA's source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"His monastery and family and relatives have repeatedly asked the authorities for information about him, but have never received any answers," the source said.

"Three months later, his whereabouts remain unknown," he said.

News of Lodroe's detention was delayed in reaching outside contacts owing to communication blocks imposed by Chinese authorities in the area.

Lodroe, 36, is a native of Ngatoe Tsida village in Sichuan's Ngaba (Aba) county, RFA's source said.

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"His father's name is Tsikthok and his mother's name is Dzokre."

"This is a very frustrating situation, and his family and relatives are deeply concerned about his welfare and current condition," he said.

Chinese authorities last year banned a two-week religious assembly at Dzamthang's Jonang monastery during which the monastery's 3,000 monks would have hosted formal debates on religious topics, sources told RFA in an earlier report.

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Jonang monastery had previously been the site of several self-immolation protests challenging Beijing's rule in Tibetan areas, "which led to increasingly severe restrictions by the Chinese authorities," one source said. (BBG Direct)

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