China detained eight Tibetans over collecting donations for religious offering

Chinese authorities detained the following Tibetans: Gonnam, Gontse, Jigme Tenzin, Palden, Lochoe, Namgayl, Nordue and Kalsang. (Photo: file)

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Dharamshala — Chinese authorities in Darlak county, eastern Tibet, detained eight Tibetans who were collecting donations for religious offerings. They have also announced a reward for reporting Tibetans' religious activities and other such actions, which the Chinese authorities consider illegal. This is a violation of the religious freedom of Tibetans in occupied Tibet.

Chinese authorities have violated freedom of religion by detaining eight Tibetans who were simply taking part in religious activities and showing their faith in religion. Despite the fact that the Chinese authorities consider these activities to be illegal. Tibetans have an unshakeable faith in Buddhism and in their spiritual leaders, including the Tibetan spiritual leader in exile, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The Tibetan people detained by the Chinese authorities are Gonnam, Gontse, Jigme Tenzin, Palden, Lochoe, Namgayl, Nordue and Kalsang. They are originally from Gyume township, in Darlak County, eastern Tibet.

According to a report of Tibet Watch, eight Tibetans were detained on October 20, 2023 on charges of "setting up a criminal organisation", "quarrels and disturbances" and "extortion and blackmail". A source with knowledge of the detention told Tibet Watch that the allegation was made against them for collecting donations for religious offerings.

On the same day, the Darlak county Chinese police posted a notice on its social media account and urging local Tibetans to actively report clues linked to the detainee group and other "criminal organisations", adding that they would be "highly rewarded in accordance with relevant regulations", while warning people who conceal such secret information that they face severe penalties.

The notice stated: "In order to further suppress the governance of clan forces of rural pastoral families in black and evil crimes, a full investigation of criminal gangs on illegal and criminal facts, suppression of illegal and criminal activities, is now openly open to the community to collect illegal and criminal clues from the gang".

The notice also asked Tibetans to surrender for their actions "which the Chinese consider illegal", whereas for Tibetans it is simply a matter of having faith in religion and taking part in religious activities.