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Exiled Tibetans: Man Detained, Tortured for Singing National Anthem


Pema Wangchen, a single parent, was recorded singing the Tibetan anthem Feb. 13, in Ganze County, Sichuan province, China.

Pema Wangchen, a single parent, was recorded singing the Tibetan anthem Feb. 13, in Ganze County, Sichuan province, China.

A father of three of was reportedly detained and tortured by security officials for singing the Tibetan national anthem at a public gathering in China's western Sichuan province.

Video of the Tibetan man singing the banned anthem at a public gathering in what appeared to be a village in Ganze Tibetan Prefecture went viral on Wechat in April.

Choe Gyaltsen, an India-based exiled Tibetan monk from Ganze, told VOA's Tibetan Service that Pema Wangchen, a single parent, was recorded singing the anthem Feb. 13, the fifth day of the Tibetan New Year, in Ogzang Township.

After the video surfaced, the man was detained for 15 days before being released in early May.

Gyaltsen also says Wangchen, whose pinky finger is now paralyzed, was possibly suspended by his smallest finger during interrogation, during which he was repeatedly told that his "family members are all criminal."

Wangchen's brother, Palden Trelan, a monk from Ganze Monastery, was arrested in 2008 after he and two other monks marched through Ganze shouting "Long live the Dalai Lama," according to a Radio Free Asia report in 2015.

Trelan had served seven years in prison by the time he was released May 18, 2015.

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Tibetan Service.

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