Tibetan Freedom of Religion Suffers When Its Largest Temple is Closed

December 4, 2005 12:00 am Last Updated: December 4, 2005 12:00 am

The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, a human rights organization, said that the Chinese government has shut down the largest temple in Tibet, the Zhaibung Temple outside of Lhasa, the capital, and arrested five monks. The Center believes that China has intensified its eradication of followers of the spiritual leader in exile, the Dalai Lama.

The organization also stated that another monk has died in a mysterious manner during an activity organized by the police department. The victim was 28-year-old Jiang Qiu. He died in October during an activity held for the purpose of strengthening the Tibet monks' supposed patriotic support for Beijing and the Chinese government.

According to the organization, the monks who were arrested on Nov. 23 had refused to sign the documentation condemning the Dalai Lama. They were then immediately expelled from the temple and sent to the detention center of the local public security bureau. On Nov. 25, more than 400 monks held a sit-in at Zhaibung Temple in protest and five were arrested. After this, all of the monks were strictly controlled and monitored and some were beaten.