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Tibetan mother jailed for protecting body of self-immolator released after four years

Tsedup Kyi being welcomed with traditional Tibetan scarfs (Khatas)

A Tibetan woman named Tsedup Kyi was welcomed home by family members and 200 other local Tibetans after her release in Choejema Township in Ngaba (Ch:Aba) County in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

Kyi, 32, was released from Mianyang Prison, located near Chengdu city, on 5 April after serving a four-year prison term. The news of her arrest did not reach the world community at the time due to heavy restrictions on communication in Tibet.

Latest information received by TCHRD reveals that Kyi was imprisoned in connection with the self-immolation of Lobsang Gendun, a monk who died of self-immolation on 3 December 2012 in Pema (Ch: Baima) County, Golog (Ch: Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Qinghai Province), in the Tibetan province of Amdo. To save Gendun’s body from falling into the hands of Chinese authorities, Kyi and other Tibetans had engaged in a scuffle with local security forces during which Kyi held on to the charred body and shouted, “ Freedom in Tibet!” and “Return of Dalai Lama to Tibet!”. She was then detained and eventually sentenced on 5 April 2013 after about four months of pretrial detention.

Kyi served the first year of her sentence in the prison hospital due to poor health. Although details are not available, it appears that she was treated for the injuries she sustained during the pretrial detention. It is common for Chinese police to use torture and other cruel and degrading punishment on detainees during the interrogation process to intimidate the detainees or to extract forced confessions.

When Kyi was about to complete her term, prison authorities demanded that she returned 13000 yuan that was spent on treating her in the prison hospital. Kyi has so far refused to pay the amount.

Tsedup Kyi has a 14-yr old son named Paltsel Kyab. Her father name is Mr. Kunchok Dora and she has eight siblings.

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