Norsang and Sabha Ville, Nagchu County, Tibet. Photo: TPI

  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Dharamshala, India — Five of the six Tibetans who reportedly disappeared in the last month in occupied Tibet were released from Chinese police custody recently after arbitrary detention. The sixth man has meanwhile still gone missing after being taken into custody by the Chinese police.

A 35-year-old man, Norsang is one of the six men still missing after he was detained along with five others by Chinese authorities nearly a month ago in Tarchen Township in Nagchu, central Tibet, a source told the TPI, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The source confirms Manpa Tsegyal, Yangphel, Dudul Lhagyay, Shewang Namgyal and Sithar Wangyal, were released on September 27, 2019, from police custody. They were arrested in Tarchen Township in Nagchu, central Tibet, on September 20, 2019, after reportedly refusing to take part in events to mark the 70th anniversary of the Communist totalitarian regime in China.

Although the reason for Norsang’s disappearance is currently unclear, locals believe that he has been arrested, possibly because he was allegedly refusing to take part in official events to mark the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

Sometime after the arrest, the authorities have stepped-up tightening control across the Sabha village Nagchu, central Tibet and six police patrol vehicles were deployed near his home, routinely engaged in the arbitrary detention and surveillance of Tibetans, the source further said, adding: His current whereabouts and condition remain unknown.

China-Tibet: Everything you need to know

As the Chinese Communist Party celebrated the 70th anniversary of its totalitarian rule on October 1, 2019, over a million Uighurs are imprisoned in labor camps, millions are severely repressed in Tibet, and millions are on the streets of Hong Kong marching for basic freedom and human rights. Arbitrary arrests, long-term detention of prisoners of conscience, detention without trial of political prisoners, unfair trials, widespread torture and ill-treatment of adult and juvenile detainees are among major concerns in Tibet, Hong Kong, and eastern Turkistan.

Authorities dramatically stepped up repression and systematic abuses against Tibetans inside Tibet and have carried out mass arbitrary detention, torture, and mistreatment of some of them in various detention facilities, and increasingly imposed pervasive controls on daily life. Year after year, new regulations particularly targeting Tibetans in Tibet criminalize the even traditional forms of social event and action, including preserving, and promotion of Tibetan religious and cultural heritages which undermines people’s rights to free speech and political participation.

The communist-totalitarian state of China began its invasion of Tibet in 1949, reaching complete occupation of the country in 1959. Since that time, more than 1.2 million people, 20% of the nation's population of six million, have died as a direct result of China's invasion and occupation. In addition, over 99% of Tibet's six thousand religious monasteries, temples, and shrines, have been looted or decimated resulting in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist scriptures.

Until 1949, Tibet was an independent Buddhist nation in the Himalayas which had little contact with the rest of the world. It existed as a rich cultural storehouse of the Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings of Buddhism. Religion was a unifying theme among the Tibetans -- as was their own language, literature, art, and world view developed by living at high altitudes, under harsh conditions, in a balance with their environment.