Target: Tan Yongshou, Commissioner of Nagqu Prefectural Administrative Office
Goal: Ascertain the location of a Tibetan monk and the reason for his detention.
Choephel Dawa, a Tibetan monk, has not been seen or heard from since being detained by police in Sog County, Nagchu Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region. His whereabouts are unknown and he is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. Sign the petition and demand that his location and the charges against him be made public immediately.
Dawa is from Sok Tsanden Monastery, which has been kept under surveillance by Chinese authorities due to a history of activism there. Dawa himself has been arrested before for having pictures on his phone of monks self-immolating to protest Chinese rule. Those who know him speculate that his current detention is the result of his sharing photos of the Dalai Lama on a Chinese messaging app.
China has a history of mistreating detainees, and the risk increases when prisoners are held incommunicado without access to legal representation, their families, or adequate oversight. Additionally, ethnic Tibetans are subject to discrimination and a slew of restrictive laws and “patriotic education” efforts in which Tibetans are forced to denounce the Dalai Lama and pledge allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party, which often singles out Tibetan monasteries and nunneries.
It is imperative that Choephel Dawa’s whereabouts are made known immediately. Sign the petition and demand justice.
Dear Commissioner Yongshou,
I am writing to demand that the whereabouts of Choephel Dawa, a 27-year-old Tibetan monk detained in Sog County, Nagchu Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, be disclosed immediately. I also demand that the charges against him be made public.
Dawa has not been seen or heard from since his detention, and the reason for his detention is unknown. He has been arrested once before for possessing pictures of monks self-immolating to protest Chinese rule; those who know him speculate that his current detention relates to his sharing photos of the Dalai Lama on WeChat.
Dawa’s incommunicado detention severely limits his access to basic human rights such as legal representation, contact with his family, and medical care. It also significantly increases his risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment.
Brute force will never win in the long run against peaceful resistance. Human rights violations and violence will never convert people to the Chinese cause. It is not too late, however, to change course and pursue justice rather than senseless persecution. I therefore urge you to disclose Choephel Dawa’s location and either make public the charges against him or free him immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Maris Burbergs via Wikimedia Commons