A Tibetan school teacher in Tibet was detained on April 10 after expressing happiness about a video clip of the Dalai Lama on social media. The video was selectively edited and designed to malign the Dalai Lama in his interaction with an Indian boy at a public event in Dharamshala on February 28.
The Chinese government had allowed the posting of the edited video on its censored social media before it spread to the outside world. The teacher was held incommunicado before eventually being released, but was put under house arrest, and his employment was terminated. The teacher's identity has not been revealed for safety reasons.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) reported that attempts to find the unedited video clip were immediately censored, while the edited clip was widely circulated and actively promoted by state-controlled media outlets. The incident highlights the need for greater respect for human rights and political freedoms in Tibet, and for greater international attention and support for the Tibetan cause.
Since their expulsion, the teacher has been placed under house arrest, with authorities monitoring their movements and restricting their ability to communicate with others. The teacher's family has expressed concern for their safety and wellbeing, given the harsh treatment they have received.
This incident is the latest in a series of crackdowns by Chinese authorities on Tibetan dissent. The Chinese government has been accused of violating human rights in Tibet, including restricting religious freedoms and cracking down on political dissent.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetans, has been a vocal critic of China's policies in Tibet. His Holiness has been in exile in India since 1959, and remains a symbol of resistance and hope for many Tibetans.
The Chinese government, however, views the Dalai Lama as a separatist and has accused him of inciting unrest in Tibet. The government has also been accused of attempting to undermine the Dalai Lama's influence by promoting alternative Tibetan spiritual leaders who are more sympathetic to the Chinese government.
The expulsion and house arrest of the Tibetan school teacher is a stark reminder of the ongoing tensions between Tibetans and the Chinese government. The incident highlights the need for greater respect for human rights and political freedoms in Tibet, and for greater international attention and support for the Tibetan cause.
Edited and collated by Team TRC