Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today learned of the unexplained police detention
of a Tibetan writer in Qinghai Province, in China’s remote north-west on April
According to local reports, Tagyal,
45, was taken from his office by police to a Xining Prefecture
police station, where he is still reportedly detained. His house was
subsequently ransacked and his wife, Lhaso, interrogated.
According to Radio Free Asia, a
bookstore owned by Lhaso was also searched by police on April 12, when they seized
several copies of a Tibetan-language book written by Tagyal, as well as two
computers and other personal documents.
The police then reportedly questioned
Lhaso about the book and ordered her to close down the business.
Lhaso was again interrogated on
April 25 at a police station two days after Tagyal’s detention.
Tagyal was detained less than a week
after he signed an open letter urging people wishing to help victims of the
April 14 earthquake in Yushu,
Qinghai Province, to send food,
clothing and medical supplies as well as money directly to trustworthy
The letter suggested that the Central
Government’s relief efforts for earthquake survivors, many of whom are ethnic
Tibetans, are not sufficient or clear from corruption.
It is unclear whether Tagyal’s
detention is related to his book or signing of the letter.
“Under Article 35 of China’s
Constitution, all individuals are guaranteed the right to free expression,
regardless of their religious or ethnic background, or the content of their
message,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White
The IFJ urges the Qinghai provincial authorities to release
Tagyal immediately, without conditions.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
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