IFJ Urges Release of Detained Tibetan Writer


The International

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.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919



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