Tibetan monk jailed for peaceful protest released after three years

Lobsang Gyatso after release from prison.

A Tibetan monk was released last Wednesday after the completion of his three years prison term.

Lobsang Gyatso, 23, a monk at Kirti Monastery in Ngaba County was sentenced to three years by the Intermediate People’s Court in Barkham (Ch: Ma’erkang) in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. Gyatso was detained after he staged a peaceful protest on 2 April 2014, carrying a handmade Tibetan flag and walking on the main road in Ngaba County town shouting slogans calling for “Return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet” and “ Freedom in Tibet”.

Gyatso managed to escape arrest after staging the protest. On 15 April 2014, 13 days after his peaceful solo protest, the Chinese authorities arrested him from his monastery. He was then taken to an undisclosed location. His family was prohibited from hiring a lawyer but was summoned to observe his trial.

As reported by TCHRD, one of Gyatso’s classmate Lobsang Tenpa, 21, was released in May last year from a juvenile prison facility after two years. Tenpa also staged a peaceful solo protest few days after Lobsang Gyatso’s arrest. Tenpa was detained incommunicado for about eight months during which he was subjected to beatings and torture. On 24 November 2014, he was sentenced to two years for organizing “ anti-national activities”.

Although not much is known about Lobsang Gyatso’s current health condition, he appears weak after his release. He was welcomed home by his family members and relatives.

TCHRD’s Political Prisoners Desk has recorded 24 known Tibetan peaceful solo protesters since 2014. Majority of them are monks hailing from Kirti Monastery in Ngaba County in Tibet.

An undated picture of Lobsang Gyatso before he was detained
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