A Tibetan monk was taken into custody by Chinese authorities in a Tibetan area of China’s Sichuan province last month after posting comments critical of Beijing’s policies in the region and has not been heard from since, according to Tibetan sources.
Sonam Palden was arrested in the Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) Tibetan & Qiang Autonomous Prefecture’s Ngaba county on Sept. 19, likely for posting pro-Tibetan language comments on the messaging platform WeChat, sources say.
The 22-year-old had been a monk at the Kirti monastery in Ngaba since childhood.
“He remains incommunicado since his Sept. 19 arrest,” Kanyag Tsering from the Dharamsala, India branch of Kirti monastery told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
“It remains unknown where he is being held and for what reasons,” he said, adding that a close friend of the monk told him his arrest was likely related to the WeChat posts.
According to the friend, Tsering said, Sonam Palden’s posts expressed concerns over Beijing’s policies that he said are causing the eradication of the Tibetan language.
Tibetans say Chinese authorities regularly restrict their political activities and peaceful expression of ethnic and religious identity in the Tibetan region, and subject them to persecution, torture, imprisonment, and extrajudicial killings.
“His friend said if that isn’t the cause of his arrest, he couldn’t think of any other reasons,” Tsering told RFA.
Reported by RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Eugene Whong.