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Two young Tibetan writers arrested in raid on university in Gansu

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders condemns the detention of two young Tibetan writers who are studying in Lanzhou, in the northwestern province of Gansu. Identified as Tashi Rabten (pen-name Therang) and Druklo (pen-name Shokjang), they were arrested on 4 April 2010, apparently because of what they have written about the situation in Tibet.

"We fear that these two young Tibetan writers will be mistreated during their first few weeks in detention," said Reporters Without Borders. "We urge the authorities in Gansu province to provide information about what is happening to them. And if their arrests are linked to their writing, we call for their release."

Tashi Rabten and Druklo were arrested when 16 armed policemen raided their hostel at the Northwest National Minorities University, where they are students. The police searched their rooms, confiscating books in Tibetan, their mobile phones, their laptops and their course material.

Tashi Rabten was the editor of a book in Tibetan called "Trakyig" (Blood Letter) about the March 2008 unrest in Tibet. Published in January 2009, its sale was stopped by the Chinese authorities because of its "suspicious" political content, and the security forces seized copies already distributed. Thereafter they were kept under surveillance and Tashi Rabten was briefly arrested in July 2009.

"If the government continues to violate our freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of thought and our private lives, we are surely going to protest," a student representative at the university told a Tibetan journalist based abroad.

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