Two Tibetan monks have been released after they completed their five-year prison terms in Chushul (Ch: Qushui) Prison located in the outskirts of the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, in Tibet Autonomous Region.
Lobsang Ngodup, 34, and Soepa, 35, were released on 10 March 2013, which was also the 54th anniversary of Tibetan national uprising day, reported Tibet Express, the exile Tibetan language newspaper last week citing local Tibetan sources.
After his release, Lobsang Ngodup is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Siling (Ch: Xining), capital of Qinghai Province. Soepa is said to have lost his mental balance, the exile newspaper reported, adding he has been behaving strangely since his release. Curiously, no injuries are visible on his body but the state of Soepa’s mental health indicates that he had endured severe torture at the hands of prison authorities in Chushul.
Exile Tibetan sources said after his release, Soepa was first taken to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, where the security personnel detained him for seven days. This was followed by additional four days’ detention at Sershul County. It was only after five Tibetans agreed to sign a bond pledging to take responsibility that Soepa was released. He has now returned to Mange Monastery but security personnel permanently stationed there are keeping a close watch on his movements. He is required to report to the local Public Security Bureau office fro an indefinite period.
Soepa was born in Mange Village and became a monk at a young age at Mange Monastery in Sershul County in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. He was a good student and took special interest in writing and literature. At the time of his arrest, he was a visiting student at Sera Monastery (in Lhasa) where he completed his Uma class (equivalent to a Master’s degree) in Tibetan Buddhism.
Lobsang Ngodup was a monk from Onpo Monastery in Sershul County.
Both were among the 15 monks arrested by Chinese security forces on 10 March 2008 in Lhasa. TCHRD first reported their detention and ‘disappearance’ on 14 March 2008. (See here and here ) The monks, joined by two laypersons, whose identities are still unknown, staged a peaceful protest in front of the Jokhang Temple on Barkhor street shouting pro-independence slogans, distributing pamphlets and raising the banned Tibetan national flags. Most of the monks, originally from Kham and Amdo region of Tibet, were visiting students at Sera Monastery and belonged to the monastery’s Jadrel Khangtsen (Jadrel college). Following a brief protest march on Barkhor street, the monks were arrested by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials, beaten severely and manhandled. Moreover, the shops and vendors around the busy Barkhor Street were ordered to close. Additional contingents of armed forces were then deployed in the area.
It has now emerged that Lodoe, 30, a monk from Onpo Monastery who was among the 15 arrested had been sentenced to 10 years in Chushul Prison.