A Tibetan Buddhist monk named Kunchok Dakpa has been arrested and detained by Chinese authorities in Gansu province for allegedly contacting people outside the far-western region. Dakpa, a respected figure in the local community, was taken into custody during the last week of October from Tashi Monastery in Thewo county.
Dakpa had previously traveled to India to study at the Kirti Monastery in Dharamsala, the home of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and the Tibetan government in exile. Upon his return to Tibet, he worked as a teacher at Tashi Monastery.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Dakpa's arrest is part of a broader crackdown by Chinese authorities on Tibetan religious and cultural freedoms. In recent years, the Chinese government has tightened controls on online communications, claiming it undermines national unity, and detained some Tibetans for alleged online offenses.
Dakpa's friends and supporters maintain that he is a law-abiding individual who has never been involved in any political activities. They express concern for his well-being and call for his immediate release.
China has been tracking Tibetans in Tibet communicating with those in exile to shut down the flow of information to the outside world, according to sources inside the autonomous region who provide information to communities abroad, reported Radio Free Asia.
During the past few years, the government has tightened controls on online communications, claiming it undermines national unity, and detained some Tibetans for alleged online offenses.
Another Tibetan said local authorities have constantly harassed and interrogated the monk, though it is unclear whether Chinese police or government secret agents arrested him.
“Kunchok Dakpa has always been a law-abiding individual and has never been involved in political activities that may create chaos,” he said. “He is someone local Tibetans respect and admire.”
After completing his monastic studies at Kirti Monastery, Dakpa worked in the administrative office there for about five years. In 2012, he returned to Tibet and worked as a teacher at Tashi Monastery in Gansu’s Yipa township.
Edited and collated by Team TRC