07/14/2014, 00.00
TIBET - CHINA
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Tibetan Buddhist monk held for two months

Nothing is known about Tenzin Lhundrup, a Tibetan monk arrested by Chinese police for causing a "disturbance," namely giving a lecture on "the status of the Tibetan language and nationality." Since his arrest, severe restrictions have been imposed on freedom of movement, speech and religion in Diru County.

Lhasa (AsiaNews) - For nearly two months, Tenzin Lhundrup, a Tibetan Buddhist monk and scholar, has been held incommunicado after he was arrested last May by Chinese authorities.

The priest was giving a lecture on "the status of the Tibetan language and nationality" in the city of Shagchu, Diru County (Nagchu Prefecture, Tibetan Autonomous Region), when Chinese police arrested him for causing a "disturbance".

Local sources only recently informed the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) confirming his arrest.

No one knows more about his whereabouts. What is certain is that he was stopped on a Wednesday in May, but the exact day is not known, nor is the place where he was taken.

Tenzin Lhundrup is known in the area for his teachings on Tibetan culture and the need to preserve the identity of the Tibetan people. He is also famed for promoting a vegetarian diet and teaching how to conduct conflict resolution.

When local residents asked for information on the monk's disappearance, Chinese police said Lhundrup was a social agitator.

In June, his arrest sparked strong protest among locals, which prompted Chinese authorities to apply harsh restrictions on freedom of movement, speech and religion.

"Chinese authorities have cut all communication lines and forced Tibetan students of Diru studying in other regions of Tibet to return to their home. The situation has become very tense and dangerous," a sourced told the TCHRD. (NC)

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