China / Tibet: Singer and music shop owner in Lhasa detained by police



Tibet / China:
Singer and music shop owner in Lhasa detained by police

Tenzin, a singer from Amdo who owns a music shop in Lhasa, has been detained by the police and accused of downloading ‘illegal music’, reported High Peaks Pure Earth

“We are not sure of the exact date of his detention. Our source says he was detained on 22 January 2009. It is unlikely a person would be detained for selling pirated music, in such a case, authorities would only impose fines. Therefore this is not an anti-piracy campaign; here “illegal music” refers to songs that are mentioned by the blogger Woeser:

Lhasa’s deputy police chief previously announced in a press conference that police had just detained 59 rumour-mongers who had been “inciting ethnic feelings”. Their method of rumour-mongering: “illegal downloading of reactionary songs from the internet in CD, MP3, MP4 and other electronic formats, for sale to the public.”

According to High Peaks Pure Earth, there is a fine line artists in Tibet have to tread for their creativity and artistic expression. The Tibetan folk singer Dolma Kyi was detained in 2008, and so was another singer from Amdo, Lhundrup.

A video of Tenzin singing with Dr Anna Morcom, enthonomusicologist from Royal Holloway College, University of London, can be seen on

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(Tibet marked with red)


High Peaks Pure Earth – 29 January 2009:

‘What kinds of songs are “reactionary songs”?’

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