Chinese authorities in Derge County in Kardze “Tibet Autonomous Prefecture” have taken into custody and imposed penalty on family members of three Tibetan youth who are absconding after putting up posters and leaflets calling for Tibet’s independence, reported the Radio Free Asia.
The three men—Tsering Kyipo, 25, Jampa Ngodrup, 33, and Lobsang Thubten, 30—went into hiding after they carried out a protest on March 6 in Dzakhog town in Dege county.
The posters signed by the three men read, “We want freedom!,” “Tibet is independent!,” and “Invite the Dalai Lama to Tibet!.”
“Chinese forces are searching for them everywhere with great urgency,” a Tibetan in Kardze who did not want to be named was quoted by RFA as saying.
Chinese police moved quickly to detain Tsering Kyipo’s father Sangpa, aged about 53, Lobsang Thubten’s mother Choetso, aged about 64, and Jampa Ngodrup’s brother Mochag, aged about 47, RFA reported citing sources.
A fine of 20,000 Yuan each (U.S. $3,054) was imposed on the three families and told their member in custody will be released only after the young men are captured or surrender to authorities.
The detained family members are currently being held at the Dege County Detention Center, a local source told RFA.
“Because of this incident, hundreds of Chinese security personnel are present [in the area],” the source added.
“They are searching each and every house in the village and are also looking for [the protesters] in the forests, but no detentions have been made so far.”
Meanwhile, on March 10, two unnamed youth took to the streets of Bathang town in Kardze in a protest against Chinese rule. They chanted, “Independence for Tibet!” and “Long Live the Dalai Lama!”
A local Tibetan, who requested anonymity, told RFA that Chinese police immediately detained both the young men.
“After this, a large number of Chinese People’s Armed Police were called in and blocked all the nearby roads,” the source added.
Chinese forces confronted a group of monks from Ba Choedhe monastery on March 21, the same source told RFA, adding that the monks were carrying a picture of Tibet’s exiled leader the Dalai Lama in a procession in the town market.
“Now, the town of Bathang and the Ba Choedhe monastery are surrounded by Chinese People’s Armed Police,” he said.