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Outspoken Buddhist Monk, Jigme Guri Re-Arrested: Says Rights Group

by YC. Dhardhowa, The Tibet Post International, 27 August 2011

Dharamshala, India -- On 19th August, a well-known as an outspoken Buddhist monk, Jigme 'Guri' was re-arrested by Chinese authorities of the Public Security Bureau (PSB) from a hotel called 'Z-hong Yan' in Tsoe city, Amdho region of eastern Tibet (Ch: Hezou, Kanlho Tibetan Prefecture). This is the third time Ven. Jigme has been arrested.

Sources say that before his arrest police and security personnel 'raided' his room, thoroughly checking his belongings including his computer system. CD's were also seized in the raid. There were around ten monks and few others present during Jigme's arrest. They asked the police the reason for his arrest but the police did not answer, said the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

Jigme also known as Jigme Guri of Labrang Monastery was first arrested on 28 March 2008 while returning to his monastery from market. He was detained and tortured for two months in detention center for his suspected role in 2008 Mass Uprising.

The second arrest came when on 3 September 2008 (the same year), the Voice of America's Tibetan News service aired a video in which Jigme testified and gave detail accounts of Tibetan people's aspiration, hopes and also torture and inhuman treatment meted out to Labrang monks who were detained during 2008's March Protest. After spending almost two months in hiding, on 4 November 2008 huge number of People's Armed Police (PAP) and PSB officials in several military trucks arrested him from a Tibetan home. He was released on 3 May 2009, according to TCHRD.

Jigme, a 44 year old monk was born to a farmers family in Lhutang Village, Juicha Township, Sangchu County (Ch: Sangchu Xian) Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (TAP) Gansu Province. He was a former head of the Labrang Monastery's vocational training centre and was even a Vice-Chairman of the Democratic Management Committee (DMC) of Labrang Monastery.

On 19 August, Jigme was invited to Tsoe city for a festival where other popular Tibetans, like singer Sherten, were also invited. When he did not turn up for the event, his two students went in search of their teacher. On reaching the hotel, around 7 o'clock in the evening (Tibet local time), there were many police officials who did not allow the two monks to enter the room in which monk Jigme was staying. The police told them that Jigme is not inside. However, the two heard their teacher's voice from the room, as he told them both to leave before any more problems are created. Jigme's student also saw him lying on his bed through the windows of his room.

In the evening of 20 August (around 5 o'clock- Tibet local time) nearly 40 policemen came to monk Jigme's monastery to raid his room. 30 portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (10 big, 20 small) were seized along with two computer systems and two laptops from his room. They searched his students' room and the storage room also. The authorities even made a relative of Jigme to take them to his meditation room in Phukthee town located below Jigme's monastery where four more pictures of His Holiness the Dalai Lama were confiscated.

Since his arrest on 19th of this month, there is no any official report from the Chinese government, the reasons for his arrest, news about his situation and whereabouts are still not known.

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