Chinese authorities in Sichuan Province arrest and assault Tibetan monks on suspicion of informing foreigners of the destruction of a 99-foot-tall Buddha monument in Luhuo (Drago) County.
According to Tibetan reports cited by Radio Free Asia (RFA), the Buddha monument in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of Kardze (Ganzi) was demolished in December by officials who said it had been erected too high.
According to RFA, monks from the local monastery and other Tibetans were forced to witness the damage, which experts described as part of a larger campaign to erase Tibet’s unique national culture and religion.
According to RFA, 11 monks from Gaden Namgyal Ling monastery in Drago were arrested on suspicion of disseminating information and images of the demolition of the statue to relations outside the province.
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“So far, we have learned that Lhamo Yangkyi, Tsering Samdrup and four other Tibetans have been arrested for communicating outside Tibet,” RFA said, citing the source, “citing contacts in Drago.
According to the source, the statue was desecrated a few days earlier and Father Pelga, his assistant Nyima, as well as monks Tashi Dorje and Nyima from Drago monastery were apprehended.
According to the source, Chinese officials said they needed a lesson.
He added that the officers mistreated the monks and denied them food during their imprisonment.
They mercilessly beat one of the monks, seriously injuring one of his eyes.
Following the arrest of monks for spreading the news of the removal of monuments, Sophie Richardson, Chinese director of Human Rights Watch in New York, said believers in China cannot rely on legal or constitutional guarantees to protect their beliefs.
Richardson also said that Beijing, in its current phase of “ultranationalist and state ideology, gives full power to the state and views civil society with suspicion and contempt, according to RFA.
(With contributions from agencies)