Chinese police in eastern Tibet have arrested a large number of Tibetan youths. They have been arrested for keeping Dalai Lama photos in their mobile phone. Which is a crime in China.
These youths have been taken to labor camps run by the Chinese military in very inaccessible places where it is almost impossible to return after going there.
After arresting a large number of Tibetan youths in Kardze Prefecture in eastern Tibet in January and February, they have been taken to unknown places. People in Tibet know what it means to be taken to such labor camps or educational camps. No one’s family knows where their people have been taken.
According to a Tibetan report, in January, police in Likhog city seized the mobile phones of Tibetan youths and investigated them and after that the youths were arrested. It was learned about some that they have been kept in a labor camp but there was no information about the rest. Most of the Tibetan nomadic pastoralists live in Likhog and most of them have been arrested.
Some Tibetans found photographs of the Dalai Lama in their mobile phones, and were arrested after accusing them of having links with Tibetan agitators living outside China. In the city of Drago in Kardze Prefecture, this repression cycle has been going on since October last year but it has accelerated since December.
In December last year, the Chinese authorities vandalized a 30-metre-high Lord Buddha statue in Drago. This place comes under the Sichuan province of China. The administration burnt the prayer flags in the monastery and broke 45 prayer wheels. After this incident, Tibetan Buddhist monks as well as ordinary Tibetans started protests all over the area. The Communist Party of China has recently enacted a new religious law, under which large-sized religious symbols or statues have been banned.
Although this law applies to religious symbols placed outside the monastery or temple, the Chinese administration also demolished the idol inside the monastery in Drago, saying that it is taller than the fixed height. In January, thousands of Tibetan youths participating in the protests were arrested and taken to educational camps after which their whereabouts are not known.