12/20/2013, 00.00
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Tibet, Chinese police beat an influential Buddhist monk to death

Jamyang Geshe Ngawang, a religious teacher much loved by his community, was arrested on November 23 in Lhasa. His body, with obvious signs of violence, was returned to the family by agents who threatened to kill his family to silence them .

Lhasa ( AsiaNews) - Chinese police have beaten Tibetan Buddhist monk to death in a prison, who was arrested a month ago with two friends while on holiday in Lhasa, the provincial capital . The monk, Jamyang Geshe Ngawang, was very popular among the local religious: he had taught for many years in an Indian monastery before returning to Tibet, where he had accepted the post of lecturer at the monastery of Tarmoe Nagchu, Diru County . The region is known for being the center of a campaign of resistance against the new rules on "loyalty to the state" imposed by Beijing .

Public security officials arrested Jamyang last November 23 . Since then all trace of him was lost until December 17 when the police handed over his body to his family. Ngawang Tharpa , a Tibetan living in India but who maintains contact with his county of origin, told Radio Free Asia : "He was beaten to death . When the police handed over his body, they warned the family members of to say nothing of the incident. Otherwise, they would be killed".  There is no news so far of the two companions arrested along with Jamyang .

According to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, it is " clear that the monk was beaten to death while being held in a secret prison.  He was a big man and in good health when he left his monastery to visit Lhasa". According to some sources, his dead body was covered with "obvious" signs of the beating that took place in prison.

Born in 1968 in the county of Diru, Geshe Jamyang entered the monastery in 1987 , two years after moving to India, where he continued his religious studies for 19 years. In 2007, he returned to Tibet to try to propagate Buddhism and Tibetan culture in its region of origin. In 2008 he was sentenced to two years in prison on charges of "maintaining contacts with foreign countries", but was released early on good behavior. He resumed his religious work  as was " highly respected " by the local community, until November.



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