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China Arrests Tibetan Monk in Tawu, Sentences Popular Singer from Driru


China has arrested a Tibetan monk from Nyitso Monastery in Tawu County, Sichuan Province on May 18, 2015.

According to sources, no official reason was given for Tsewang Choephel's arrest, but local Tibetans believe it could be due to his presence at the self-immolation protest of his fellow monk, Kalsang Yeshi, 37 on December 23, 2014. The self-immolation protest caused Choephel to express anger and frustration against the authorities, which had consequently placed him under constant police surveillance.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities sentenced a popular Tibetan singer from Driru County in Nagchu Prefecture to a three and half year prison term on April 15, 2015. Gonpo Tenzin was arrested in November 2013 without charges, and was detained without access to legal proceedings for over a year.

Chinese authorities told Gonpo’s family that he was arrested for his patriotic song titled, “Where is the New Year in Tibet”, which the authorities believe praises and encourages the Tibetans to preserve their language and culture.

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