3 Tibetan teenagers missing, 1 hospitalised for breaking WeChat ban

·2-min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

Washington [US], March 11 (ANI): Three Tibetan teenagers went missing while one was hospitalised failing to register a WeChat text group chat with Chinese authorities, reported Voice of America (VOA) citing a Tibetan advocacy group - Tibet Watch.

The teens named Dadul, Sangye Tso and Kansi, live in the eastern area of Tibet governed as the Qinghai Province of China, according to Tibet Watch, a British charity that documents human rights abuses in Tibet, reported VOA.

Images show a male teenager alleged to be Dadul in a Xining, China hospital with his legs in splints, over 1,000 kilometers away from his hometown of Kyegudo, reported VOA.

Tibet Watch alleged that Dadul's family was summoned by police to the hospital where he is being treated, and asked to bring approximately USD 6,000, to pay for Dadul's surgery. Authorities told the family to keep these affairs secret, according to Tibet Watch's source.

Tibet Watch told VOA the teenagers were arrested on February 17 and were unable to say where Kansi and Sangye Tso were. Chinese authorities have not commented on the matter.

Occupied by China since 1959, Tibet requires citizens to register all group chats with local authorities so that text conversations could be monitored.

The three teens are said to have started a WeChat group named White Rocky Mountain Club, a reference to a local Buddhist deity. The group chat was created to mark the Tibetan New Year, which ran from February 12-14. The group had around 240 members, according to Tibet Watch.

Tibet has been under the control of China since 1959 when the country was annexed and its ethnic government and leadership dissolved. Tibetan leaders and others have demanded that China extract itself from the Tibetan Autonomous Region and return its leadership to Tibetans.

The US Department of States cited "reports of forced disappearances, arrests, torture, physical abuse, including sexual abuse, and prolonged detentions without trial of individuals due to their religious practices" by the Chinese. (ANI)