Tibetan Man Detained for a Phone Conversation About the Importance of Tibetan Language
A Tibetan man was detained by officials for more than a month for a conversation over the phone about Tibetan language earlier this year in Dingri (Ch: Tingri) County, Tibet Autonomous Region, in the Tibetan province of U-Tsang.
Tsering Dorjee was detained on 20 February this year while he was on his way to visit his daughter studying at a boarding school in Lhatse, hours after the conversation on phone with his younger brother, Wangdu Tsering who lives in exile.
Tsering told Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) “I had called my older brother that morning and we talked about how important it was to teach Tibetan language to our children. I told him if we didn’t advise our children early on, they would learn only Chinese.”
According to the news article, Wangdu Tsering received a phone call the same evening from a relative informing him about the detention of Dorjee. “The detention officers told my brother that he was detained because he had maintained contact with outsiders and talked on phone about Tibetan language education for children. And that was a political crime.”
Tsering Dorjee was detained at the Dingri County’s Public Security Bureau and subjected to long hours of interrogations and beatings for over a month. He was later released to be warned of the severe consequences if his detention experiences are to be shared with others.
Wangdu Tsering lives in exile unable to return to his home since 2011 when he travelled to India to attend a Kalachakra teaching by his Holiness the Dalai Lama. An attempt to return to Tibet in April 2012 resulted in his detention for more than four months suffering torture and brutal interrogations, including a week of solitary confinement. He was later deported to Nepal and banned from entering Tibet.