Eleven Tibetans from Tsakho and Khakhor Monasteries in Matoe County (Ch: Maduo Xian) Golog (Ch: Guoluo) "Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture" (‘TAP'), Qinghai Province, were arrested on 4 December 2009 by the county Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials. Tsakho Monastery follows the tantric school of Tibetan Buddhism.
According to the source, the Video CD was jointly produced by five monks from two different monasteries in Tsakho Township. Three monks of Tsakho Monastery: Abbot Ngagsung (23), Nobay, Sherab Nyima (25 yrs old Yogi) and two monks of Khakhor Monastery: Trulku Tsepak (28) and a monk whose name is not known. The Video CD titled "Chakdrum Marpo" (Translation: Bloody omen )was released on 1 September 2009. It mainly comprises of songs with lyrics expressing nostalgia for the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, sadness and helplessness over death of Tibetans following mass protests in Tibet since last year, Chinese misrule and brutality since 1959 and mining exploitation in Tibet. The Video CD has incorporated many images of Chinese brutality, killings of Tibetans in the popular Tibetan unrest last year.
Around 5000 copies of the VCD were distributed free of cost by six other Tibetans in and around Matoe County. They are namely:
1) Gaybo (41) a former abbot of Tsakho Monastery
2) Gowang (23), a monk of Tsakho Monastery
3) Tashi Nyima (33), Disciplinary head of Tsakho Monastery
4) Markyi (40), abbot of the Khakhor Monastery
5) Khenpo (25), a monk of Khakhor Monastery
6) Garab Dorjee a.k.a. Garkho (46), a layman from Tsakho Township
According to the source, "all eleven people involved in the production and distribution of the VCD were arbitrarily arrested by Matoe County PSB officials last Friday 4 December. The latest information coming out of the area indicates that six distributors were fined 10,000 Yuan each and released on same amount on bail. However, the five monks who produced the video CD still continued to remain in police custody. The released individuals were given deadline to retrieve all distributed VCD by 10th December or face re-arrest. Since it was widely distributed in various places it's impossible task to meet the deadline given by authorities and their arrest is quite imminent." The Centre will monitor the situation and will update as and when more information from the area surfaces.
The Chinese authorities over the years have targeted, detained and sentenced Tibetan writers, photographers, bloggers and publishers who did not engage in overt protest activity, but who sought to explore and express Tibetan views on issues that affect Tibetan people's rights, culture, religion and Tibet's fragile environment. Last month, a 30-year-old Tibetan professional singer, Tashi Dhondup, was arrested after the release of an album titled ‘Torture without Trace' for which Chinese authorities accused him of composing subversive songs.
Similarly, in a closed door trial on 12 November 2009, a Tibetan monk writer-photographer, Kunga Tsayang was sentenced to 5 years in prison by the Kanlho Intermediate People's Court in Gannan "Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture" (‘TAP'), Gansu Province, on charges of disclosing ‘state secret'.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy(TCHRD) calls for the government of People's Republic of China (PRC) to immediately release the Tibetan detainees unconditionally and respect the fundamental human rights of right to freedom of expression and opinion enshrined in the Constitutions and other major international covenants that she is party to.
The government of the PRC should reform as recommended by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group in February this year that calls for numerous reforms including reform in the state secret law and definitions of crimes such as "incitement to subversion of state power" or "leaking state secret." Under the prevalent of such broadly ambiguous laws, the state law enforcement agencies abuse the law by harassing, detaining and arrest of human rights defenders who exercise their fundamental human rights in a peaceful manner and the latest arrest of eleven Tibetans clearly expose that.