**URGENT ACTION ALERT***
NEW ARRESTS IN LITHANG
On February 12th and 14th, two Tibetan businessmen, Tabo and Di-Di, were detained by Chinese authorities in Lithang, apparently on suspicion of leaking information on the torture and trials of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, Lobsang Dhondup, and the Lithang Detainees. They are being held incommunicado at an unknown location and are at the risk of torture and ill-treatment. It is not known whether any charges have been brought against them.
Unofficial sources have reported that Tabo was detained on suspicion of passing information about the cases to foreign journalists. Dhidhi, a wealthy businessman and relative of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, was present at the Decemer 2, 2002 court hearing when Rinpoche was convicted. Although that hearing was closed to the public, reports later appeared in the international press describing how Tenzin Delek criticized the court and shouted his support of the Dalai Lama.
Local officials in the area have reportedly banned members of Tenzin Delek Rinpoches family and other local people from speaking about the case to journalists. Authorities thus placed restrictions on the use of fax machines and on the placing of long distance telephone calls in order to restrict information from reaching the international community.
These new arrests clearly demonstrate that the Chinese authorities are desperate to quell dissent in the region by any means necessary. Check back soon for ways you can help free Tabo and Dhidhi.