The International Campaign for Tibet calls for the unconditional release of Tsering Dorjee, a Tibetan who had been hired as a translator by two researchers investigating a controversial World Bank project. Dorjee had been detained in Dulan, the site of the World Bank resettlement project, in present-day Qinghai, along with Australian researcher Gabriel Lafitte and American researcher Daja Meston. Lafitte was deported after a week’s detention. Meston suffered serious injuries after he reportedly fell from a third story window and is presently undergoing medical treatment. Dorjee’s whereabout or status is not known.

“The agreement between the World Bank and China for access and transparency in Dulan is inconsistent with Dorjee’s detention,” said John Ackerly, president of ICT. “We call on the World Bank to intervene on Tsering Dorjee’s behalf and to help ensure that visitors, researchers and translators are safe in the World Bank project area,” Mr. Ackerly said.

There is no information of China having brought formal charge against Tsering Dorjee. China has not officially confirmed the detention of Tsering Dorjee. However, given the experience of the two foreigners, ICT fears that China may subject Dorjee to inhumane treatment.

“China should immediately and unconditionally release Tsering Dorjee,” said Ackerly.

Tsering Dorjee studied basic teacher training after completing his education at senior middle school in Rebkong, in north-east Tibet, and became a junior middle school teacher in 1997. He speaks English as well as Chinese and Tibetan. Last year he worked as an official translator for the Brussels-based organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres. He has also worked as a translator for the European Union.