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Four Tibetan writers jailed for criticising Chinese government

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders is shocked to learn of the imprisonment of four Tibetan writers, which was reported on 3 August 2009 by the Tibetan blogger "Woeser" and has been confirmed by other local blogs (Aryatara, Ganglin, Sangge, Lmgo), all of which have subsequently been blocked. Three of the writers were arrested in this year; the fourth has been held since March 2008.

"The repression of Tibetan writers must stop," Reporters Without Borders said. "It is a disgrace for China that Tibet-based writers and journalists are not allowed to express their views freely and criticise the government in Beijing. Most of them are being held without trial in unknown locations."

The press freedom organisation added: "It is typical of the difficulty of obtaining news and information about Tibet that we do not learn of the imprisonment of well-known figures until as much as a year has gone by."

According to a blog entry posted by Woeser (Invisible Tibet), Zhuori Cicheng, 27, the founder and editor of the literary magazine "Life of Snow," was jailed on 2 April for writing articles that allegedly "incited separatism."

The same blog entry reported that Gang Ni, a monk who wrote such articles as "Who are the real separatists?" and "Tibetans, we must recognise the truth about AIDS," has been held since 17 March.

Tashi Rabten, a journalist known by the pen-name "Therang," was arrested on 27 July after self-publishing "The Book of Blood," a collection of 32 articles about the March 2008 riots in Tibet. He is being held in a prison in Ruoergai, in Sichuan province (east of Tibet).

Kang Gongque, editor of the newspaper "Gangsai Meiduo" and founder of the Barkham University newspaper, was arrested on 20 March 2008 in Luomo temple in Qinghai, a province to the northeast of Tibet, after condemning the bloody crackdown on that month's rioting. He is now serving a two-year sentence in a prison in Chengdu, in Sichuan province.

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