TCHRD received confirmed information that Namdrol Lhamo, one of the last two Drapchi 14 nuns in prison, was released in September 2003. She is reportedly in Lhasa City and in bad health condition. Namdrol was released upon completion of her 12 years’ imprisonment term.
Namdrol Lhamo and many other political prisoners arrested in late 1980s and early 90s are now being released on completion of their respective terms. Most of them suffer long-term illnesses even after release as a result of prison atrocities. The released prisoners face utter hardship in resettling in the society as they are put under severe vigilance and bound in invisible chains.
Namdrol Lhamo a.k.a Nyidron was arrested on 12 May 1992 for pro-independence activism along with two other nuns. At the time of her arrest she was 28 years old. The Lhasa Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Namdrol to six years’ imprisonment term. While in Drapchi Prison, Namdrol’s original sentence was extended to 12 years’ imprisonment term when she recorded songs of freedom along with 13 nun-prisoner inmates in 1993.
Phuntsok Nyidron is now the last out of the 14 singing nuns who is still imprisoned in Drapchi Prison. Phuntsok was arrested in October 1989 for taking part in a peaceful demonstration and subsequently sentenced to nine years imprisonment term. Her original sentence was extended by another eight years’ for her participation in recording songs of freedom in an audio-tape that was later smuggled and distributed to sympathizers outside of Tibet. Phuntsok is currently serving her 17 years’ imprisonment term in Drapchi Prison and is due to be released in 2006.