The Washington, DC based Amnesty International listed Tibetan writer Druklo (pen-name Shokjang) as one of the nine journalists under attack to mark the 'World Press Freedom Day' on May 3, 2016.
"Journalism is not a crime, yet the principles of free speech and a free press are threatened right across the world," says Ben Beaumont, while highlighting nine cases of journalists that have been prosecuted, locked up, tortured, or even killed for merely speaking out against injustices.
On March 19, 2015, Chinese security police in Rebkong, located in today’s Qinghai province of the PRC, arrested the young Tibetan writer and blogger Shokjung and his brother in law. While his fellow detainee has been released since then, Shokjung remains under detention without any reasons given or charges filed against him.
Shokjung is the pen name of Druklo, a prolific young writer from Gengya, a township within the Labrang district in Amdo, who not only writes heartfelt prose and poetry that look at life in Tibet today, but also comments on the use and misuse of law and security from a common man’s perspective.
This is the second time that Shokjung has been targeted by the Chinese authorities. In 2010, while still attending Lanzhou Minority University, he and fellow student Teurang were arrested for writing about the Tibetan protests of 2008 and the harsh responses from government forces. At that time, Shokjung was eventually released after a short period but Teurang was given and served a four year sentence.
Prior to his being taken away by the police, Shokjung had written the following verses under the heading, ‘316’, or March 16:
Armed police searching ordinary people in the streets,
Is this being done for the people’s safety, or to shatter their peace?
And what way is this to create social stability?
Whose agents are the police that carry arms against the people?
Is this a way of protecting the people’s universal human rights?
And are these the actions of a country ruled by law?
Respected by many Tibetans for his deeply felt writings that express the frustrations that the common Tibetan feels in Chinese ruled Tibet today, many in the region are reported to be disturbed by his detention, yet another crackdown on a Tibetan intellectual. Shokjung’s university friend and fellow detainee in 2010, Teurang, writes, ‘Shokjung is a man who is always alive to freedom.’
The Amnesty article also includes other imprisoned prolific writers, photographers, reporters, and journalists.