15 Tibetans were arrested in Driru county’s Shamchu township in Tibet last week after pushing for the release of a writer and his friend, and petitioning in groups of over five was prohibited as the Chinese regime clamps down harder in the region, said Radio Free Asia (RFA).
The writer Tsultrim Gyaltsen was arrested on Oct. 11, and his friend Yugyal, a former police officer, was arrested the following day. Villagers say their requests for the release of the two have been ignored by local officials. Even after submitting the written petitions the officials demanded, they received no response, said RFA sources.
Because of the silence from authorities, three local women pushed strongly for a response after a forced “political education” (brainwashing) session, and the brainwashing team called the police, who took them into custody on Nov. 3.
“They demanded clear explanations as to what laws the two detained Tibetans had violated, and complained strongly against the random detention of Tibetans,” the source said.
Around the same time, a group of 12 young Tibetans near the Township Office were also detained.
There have been no reports of where Gyaltsen and Yugal are being held.
Authorities have accused Gyaltsen of committing “separatist” actions and speaking “recklessly” when students and residents protested the activities of authorities in Driru, one source told RFA.
“Police searched his residence and took away computers, books, and mobile phones,” he said.
In a separate incident in Driru, local officials have prohibited Tibetans from petitioning in groups of more than five people, saying it would considered be an act of “political error,” said Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD). Instead of petitioning in groups, Tibetans were instructed to submit their petitions in writing.
Tension in Driru remains high following an escalation of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) president Xi Jinping’s repressive “mass-line” policy, says TCHRD. The highly-intrusive mass surveillance campaigns such as the “Benefit the Masses, Solidify the Foundation,” “The Grid Management” system, “New Socialist Villages,” and the recently-announced “Advanced Joint Household” system have met with increasing resistance from the residents, followed by arrests and beatings by the authorities. /