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Report: Tibetan Monk in Hiding from Chinese

By VOA News, September 16, 2008

Lhasa, Tibet (China) -- A Buddhist monk who provided a rare first-hand account of China's crackdown on Tibetan protesters says he has gone into hiding.

A report published Monday by the Associated Press said the monk, who identified himself only as Jigme, went into hiding after security agents visited his home in the northwestern province of Gansu last week.

Earlier this month, the Voice of America's Tibetan service aired a video from Jigme about his nearly two-month detention and a crackdown on monks at Labrang monastery. The video showing his face was made available on the Internet (VOA and YouTube) at Jigme's request.

In the statement, Jigme, whose name means "fearless" in Tibetan, said he was arrested in late March and accused of participating in protests by Tibetans in the town (Tibetan: Sangchu, Chinese: Xiahe) where the monastery is located.

The monk said he took no part in protests which rocked the the town where his monastery, Labrang, is located. The AP report said Chinese authorities contacted by phone had no information on Jigme's case.

Jigme says he was released for medical reasons after several weeks of interrogation and abuse. Jigme says he was hospitalized twice for injuries sustained during his detention. He said 180 monks from the age of 14 to 60 were also detained.

Monks and other Tibetans in Sangchu (Chinese: Xiahe) took to the streets in large numbers in March to show solidarity with Tibetans demonstrating in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.

In April, monks at Labrang monastery disrupted a government-sponsored media tour. The monks denied official reports on the demonstrations and called for the return of the Dalai Lama.

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Some information for this report was provided by AP.


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