China/Tibet: Singer and song-writer detained without charges



The following article was transmitted by International PEN’s Rapid Action Network on 23 April 2008

Tibet, the A.R. of China:
Tibetan singer and song-writer Jamyang Kyi detained without charges

Jamyang Kyi, a prominent Tibetan singer and a song-writer, internet writer and feminist activist, has been arrested and held without charges since 1 April 2008, reports The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN.

The Writers in Prison Committee fears that Jamyang Kyi (also spelled: Jam Yangkyi) may be held for her writings and activism, and if so, calls for her immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory.

According to the committee’s information, Jamyang Kyi, who is also a tv producer, was reportedly escorted from her office at Qinghai TV, in Qinghai Province, north-west of the country, on 1 April 2008, and continues to be held without charges. There are reports that police confiscated her personal computer and her contact lists after searching her home. Her husband says that he was last able to contact her on 7 April. Radio Free Asia, without revealing its source, reported that the police in Xining, the capital of Qinghai, had formally arrested Kyi, but that the charges were not disclosed.

Jamyang Kyi, 42, is said to be highly regarded amongst Tibetans for her performing and activism. She toured the United States in 2006, and has released four successful albums which mix modern ‘pop’ and traditional Tibetan music. She released two video-CDs, ‘Distant Lover’ and ‘Karma’. She has also published articles on women’s rights in Tibet.

Jamyang Kyi’s blog in Chinese language is apparently very popular among young Tibetans, but it has not been updated for some months now. It can be found following this link:

Click to see Jamyang Kyi's blog

Frontpage illustration on Jamyang Kyi’s blog  

Jamyang Kyi has worked as a producer in the Tibetan-language section of state-run Qinghai TV for 20 years. This is thought to be the first time that she has suffered persecution by the authorities.

The arrest of Jamyang Kyi occurs amidst the crackdown on anti-government protestors in the Tibet Autonomous Region and neighbouring provinces. There are accounts of arbitrary arrests and use of excessive force in breaking up the demonstrators.

Jamyang Kyi

Jamyang Kyi

Freemuse joins campaign in support of Jamyang Kyi

Please send appeals
Expressing serious concern at the arrest of Tibetan writer Jamyang Kyi, seeking details of the charges against her; calling for her immediate and unconditional release, if held in violation of her right to freedom of expression, in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory.

Send appeals to:

    His Excellency Hu Jintao
    President of the People’s Republic of China
    State Council
    Beijing 100032
    People’s Republic of China

    CC: Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Party Committee
    Zhang Qingli
    Zhonggong Xizang Zizhiqu Weiyuanhui
    Lhasashi, Xizang Zizhiqu
    People’s Republic of China

Please note that there are no fax numbers for the Chinese authorities. The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN recommends that you copy your appeal to the Chinese embassy in your country asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments.

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for China in your country if possible.


Read more
on International PEN’s website – 25 April 2008:
‘China/Tibet: Tibetan internet writer Jamyang Kyi (f) detained without charges’

Tightened control over cultural activities

As a security move to prevent anti-government protests and terrorist attacks, the Chinese Ministry of Culture announced on 26 April 2008 that China will tighten up controls over cultural activities and products ahead of the Summer Olympics on 8-24 August.

The announcement by Vice Minister of Culture Zhao Weisui, carried by the official Chinese news agency Xinhua, confirms earlier reports that Beijing police had ordered the cancellation of several major events, including a popular music festival in May. The popular MIDI Music Festival planned for May has been postponed until October.

“The ministry ordered tighter supervision over entertainment venues and cultural activities to ensure neither major security accidents nor mass incidents will happen before or during the Olympics,” Xinhua said.

Click to read more about music censorship in China
China: tension
over Tibet

Click on the map to read more about music censorship in China

Video interview
See a statement by Kaiser Abdurusul, a PhD student from East Turkistan / Xinjiang in China, about the life and death of the Chinese musician Kurash Sultan. The statement is contained in a video clip with the American musician Stephan Smith-Said, recorded in November 2006.

‘The importance of music and of fighting music censorship’

Click to see the video interview


Video clips on YouTube

Jamyang Kyi sings a Tibetan song

Jamyang Kyi sings ‘You and Me’ – a Tibetan song

Read more on the internet

Google News – continously updated:

Search: ‘Jamyang Kyi’

International Herald Tribune / The Associated Press – 16 April 2008:

‘Tibetan entertainer detained in China following anti-government protests’

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