Highly-regarded Tibetan monk arrested and detained at an undisclosed location. Support him.
Tibet (occupied territory), action created 26.2.2014, petition is active
Highly respected Tibetan monk, Karma Tsewang, was arrested in December 2013 while traveling on a business trip. The Chinese authorities arrested him for "endangering state security," a term often used to imprison peaceful critics of the government. Tsewang has not been given access to a lawyer or to see his family since his imprisonment. Amnesty International considers Karma Tsewang a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned merely for exercising his right to freedom of expression and for his activities in support of Tibetan culture and language.
Karma Tsewang is the highly-regarded abbot (Khenpo) at the Gongya Monastery in Nangqian (Nangchen) county, Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in Qinghai Province. He was seized on 6 December in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, by public security officers from Changdu (Chamdo) prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, while travelling on business. After his arrest, 4,000 people signed a petition calling for his release and 600 protested. This protest included many monks, 16 of whom were detained and later released in part because of Amnesty International's pressure.
There are ongoing concerns about Karma Tsewang's health in jail; he has hepatitis and, though his family gave his medications to the jail, there is no way to know if he has in fact received them. Tsewang has not been permitted to see his family or a lawyer of his choosing throughout the process.
Tsewang is a recognized authority in Tibet, particularly for his work in support of Tibetan culture and language. He is also actively involved in humanitarian operations in disaster mitigation, such as after the 2010 earthquake in Yushu county, Qinghai Province, which killed over 2,000 people.
Tsewang's detention came amidst a larger crackdown by the Chinese authorities against Tibetan monks, after mass Tibetan protests against the Chinese government in 2008. Since these protests, the Chinese government has stepped up repression in Tibetan areas and imposed intrusive military and security controls on the local people, in addition to submitting them to humiliating "patriotic education," in which they must express support for China and denounce the Dalai Lama. Tibetan monks have become the main target of the crackdown. According to the International Campaign for Tibet, as of 19 December 2013, 125 Tibetans have self-immolated since 27 February 2009 in protest against this crackdown.