China: Tibetan film director detained, hospitalised

pema tseden china tibet
Chinese police at the airport in Xining, the capital of Qinghai province, detained Tibetan director Pema Tseden on 25 June 2016 for five days for “disturbing public order” and was hospitalised during that time on 27 June 2016 after he “displayed health problems”, reported The New York Times on 29 June 2016.

Staff members and police confronted the director when he tried to re-enter the baggage claim area after leaving his backpack on a trolley. Police stated that Tseden was detained after repeated orders that he wasn’t allowed re-entry.

The director’s producer Sonam said that once Tseden realised he could not get his bag and tried to leave, staff blocked his passage and was “grabbed” by the hair and handcuffed.

Sonam visited the director two days later and saw “many injuries to his wrist and hand” from the handcuffs and the director told him he was feeling pains in his chest and was losing feeling in his fingers, reported The Guardian on 29 June 2016.

News of the arrest was not made public until Sonam posted the news three days later on social media, reported The Epoch Times on 1 July 2016.

China’s film directors guild released a statement calling on “all respsonsible departments to swiftly respond to societal concerns and make public all details, including the police taking forceful measures”, claiming his injuries were sustained while in custody.

Tseden was traveling to Xining to promote his latest film ‘Tharlo’, which was made entirely in the Tibetan language and won China’s premier film award the Golden Horse in 2015 for best adapted screenplay from his own novel.

Photo from Tharlo movie Facebook page


» The Epoch Times – 1 July 2016:
Tibetan filmmaker is hospitalised after abuse in detention

» The Guardian – 29 June 2016:
Tibetan director ’injured in Chinese police custody’

» The New York Times – 29 June 2016:
Tibetan director hospitalised after detention by Chinese police

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