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30 october 2012-001 monks-arrest-tibetDharamshala: Chinese police have detained a Tibetan monk for allegedly having a cell phone (Iphone), in Sogdzong county, eastern Tibet according to a source in Tibet on Monday. The news came out this week after carrying out of massive police raids targeting at local Tibetans' homes to invesgate cell-phones.

“Tashi Norbu, a 19-year old monk from Chagri monastery or (Singdzong Woesal Dupde Ogyen Dhamchoeling monastery), arrested October 23, 2012 by Chinese authorities, accusing him of having we-chat conversations with others on his iPhone,” said Mr Ngawang Tharpa, a Tibetan journalist in exile, citing a source inside the region.

Tashi Norbu originally came from Tsadrok village in Sog county (Tibetan: Sogdzong), Kham region of eastern Tibet. But the reason behind his arrest remain unknown.

"His father's name is Gonam," Tharpa further told The Tibet Post International. Chinese authorities took him straight to a detention center in Sog district, where he was questioned by the authorities for hours.

"His whereabouts and condition remain unknown. Moreover, local Chinese authorities have not given any reason to his family for his arrest.

Sog county and Driru county in eastern Tibet (Current: Tibet Autonomous Region-TAR), have been under a heavy restriction and tight controls, after the wave of tragic self-immolations protesting against Chinese repression have occurred, including in Lhasa, Tibet's capital.

Sources said, the monk was arrested after a serious police raid on cell-phones, particularly targeting Iphones has been carried out by the authorities in the county and surrounding areas, as part of crackdowns, amid deepening repression in Tibet.

"Every cell-phones of Tibetans in the county are thoroughly investigated, particularly a single message or the entire conversation with we-chat on Iphones are targeted," it further added.

The Chinese officials suspicioned that they may have connections with outside Tibet about political issues and current crisis in the region, according to the sources from inside Tibet.

Sources also said that the officials on suspicion of Tibetans, sharing information about what's happening in their country, using via mobile phone technology.

According to human rights and press organisations, the regime still banned foreign journalists from entering Tibet and its traditional provinces, as part of its efforts to prevent international news organizations from covering crisis in the Himalayan region.

An international independent investigation panel to investigate the tragic self-immolations in Tibet also denied by the authorities of the communist regime.

China is still blaming the spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama for "inciting a spate of self-immolations" taking place in all parts of Tibet.

However, communication, including the Internet, telephone, mobile and SMS in the region has been severely and heavily restricted by Chinese authorities since 2008 and particularly ahead of the leadership transition, the sources said, causing an unknown number of crisis in Tibet, including arbitrary and false arrests, unlawful treatment, harsh conviction, heavy sentence, life imprisonment and other different forms of Chinese oppression.

"Representing the second oldest communist regime in the world after Russia, China continues to exert extremely tight control over the internet and mobile phones in Tibet since self-immolations occured in the region, specially ahead of the upcoming 18th Party Congress and leadership transition. Media censorship in China is among the most stringent in the world," said Nyima T.J, a Tibetan political analyst based in India.

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