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Tibetan Director Detained and Hospitalized in Northwestern China


director Pema Tseden, from Tibet, poses during a photo call prior to the presentation of his movie "The Search" at the 62nd Locarno International Film Festival in Locarno, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009,

Pema Tseden, an award winning Tibetan film director has been hospitalized in northwestern China after suffering injury while in police custody.

According to a source close to the director, Tseden was handcuffed at Xining airport while claiming his luggage, where he had flown in from Beijing on the evening of June 25, 2016.

While the reason for his arrest was not immediately clear, friends who were allowed a three minute visitation in the detention center described Tseden's condition as frail and sustaining visible bruises and injuries caused by handcuffs. After experiencing chest pains, high blood pressure of 200/90, and headaches while in custody, he was required to transfer to a hospital where he is currently being treated.

The news of Tseden's arrest and hospitalization created a widespread uproar and frustration among fans on Weibo, a Chinese social media app, which prompted the government to quickly delete all articles and information containing his arrest on the media site.

The Film Directors Guild of China also raised their concerns about the health of the prominent Tibetan director and issued a statement which read, "We call on the relevant authorities to quickly respond to the association's concern, and make public the whole story of this incident, including the reason for police taking forceful measures."

Tseden is a prominent Tibetan director who has written, directed, and produced over ten films, but is more widely known for his movies 'Old Dog' 'The Silent Holy Stone' and 'Tharlo' which have earned him awards and accolades at film festivals in Canada, Hong Kong, and Korea among many others.

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