On 1 August, Rinchen Kyi, a Tibetan school teacher, was taken from her home and arrested for “inciting separatism”, despite there being no hint of a recognisable crime. Inciting separatism has a minimum sentence of 5 years.
Since her arrest, Rinchen Kyi has effectively disappeared; she was transferred to an undisclosed location and there have been no details concerning her health or whereabouts. Rinchen's family, including her 13-year-old daughter, have not been told where she is being held or when they will be allowed to talk to her.
The next few days will be crucial; demand Rinchen Kyi's release now! Email the Qinghai local government and your nearest Chinese embassy and call for the immediate unconditional release of Rinchen.
On 8 July, Chinese authorities in eastern Tibet ordered the closure of Sengdruk Taktse middle school in Darlak County. Without giving any official reason for the shutdown of the Tibetan school, all the students have been advised to enrol in other government-affiliated schools in the region.
Confidential sources from the area confided that the motives behind the closure of the school were political. The school’s primary language of instruction is Tibetan and it provides Tibetan culture-based learning for Tibetan students in the region.
After the forced closure of the school, the Chinese authorities arrested Rinchen who was one of its longest-serving teachers. Rinchen was subsequently taken to Xining, the capital city of Qinghai Province, but details about her health and whereabouts have been kept secret by the police authorities.
According to a local source, Rinchen Kyi was disturbed by this abrupt event and lost her appetite. After not eating well for more than two weeks, her health deteriorated and she became weaker. Her family and relatives were getting concerned about her weakening state and tried to convince her to visit a doctor but she kept refusing.
Before her family could continue seeking help for her, Chinese police visited her home and arrested her on charges of separatism.