University student detained for teaching Tibetan amid Chinese restrictions

ANI
Lhasa, Tibet Updated: Feb 27, 2022, 04:29 PM(IST)

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The authorities have also warned that anyone caught violating the government's order will face 'serious legal consequences and punishment', Radio Free Asia reported citing a source

A university student was reportedly arrested earlier this month for teaching Tibetians in Chamdo and is reported to have not been seen afterwards, according to Tibet Watch.

Notably, Chinese authorities have banned 'informal' Tibetan language classes in many areas of Tibet that children attend outside their schools.

The authorities have also warned that anyone caught violating the government's order will face 'serious legal consequences and punishment', Radio Free Asia reported citing a source.

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"No individual or organization is allowed to hold informal classes or workshops to teach the Tibetan language during the winter holidays when the schools are closed.This is an attempt to wipe out the Tibetan language," the source added.

Choedon, who hailed from the Yamda village in Riwoche country, was detained on February 13. According to her family, the language lessons during the winter vacation in the village might have resulted in her detention, Phayul reported.

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Citing sources by Tibet Watch, Phayul reported that the young student has no criminal record. "Choedon was arrested by the Chinese authorities but she has not committed any wrongdoing nor does she have any criminal record. Her family is concerned about her safety as it has been more than five days since her arrest and disappearance but there is no clue about where she is being held or her conditions," added Phayul.

She is currently enrolled at the Southwest Minzu University in Chengdu, it said.

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Choedon's sudden arrest comes amidst the ongoing imposition of restrictive language policies by the Chinese government. Last year in September, the Chinese government intensified an already biased policy, which replaced all school textbooks in Tibetan with Chinese language materials, and instructed all schools to make Chinese the official medium of instruction.

Authorities have cracked down on monastic schools that teach the Tibetan language to children, like the Sengdruk Taktse middle school in Darlak County which was forced to shut down last year in June.

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