Chinese police detained 11 Christians in the mountainous Tibet region in October, the first recorded case of persecution against the religion in the area, a U.S. advocacy group said on Tuesday.

The ChinaAid group said the 11 Christians were taken into custody by police in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, in the days before and after Oct 1. They were later freed, but it was not clear when.

ChinaAid released what it said was an account by Song Xinkuan, a Christian from China’s central Henan province, who was told by police officers on Oct 7 in Lhasa, that he was being criminally detained “on suspicion of [being part of a] cult group.”

Reuters could not independently verify the claim in the letter, which was sent by email. When contacted by Reuters, an official from the Tibet government office declined to comment.

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