TCHRD has learned through reliable sources the demise of Nyima Drakpa, 29, in his home on 1 October 2003. Nyima Drakpa, who was serving nine years’ imprisonment sentence, was released in early September 2003 on medical parole. At the time of his release from the prison, Drakpa was reportedly in severe health complications. Drakpa was arrested in May 2000 and subsequently sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment on charges of “endangering state security” and “incitement against the masses”.
In late 1999, Drakpa pasted pro-independence posters on the gates of a Memorial Garden in Tawu County, Kardze Tibet Autonomous Prefecture (“TAP”), Sichuan. The posters contained slogans such as “Free Tibet”, “Tibetans in Tibet have no freedom”, “Tibet is not a part of China”, was signed at the end with his name. The County Public Security Bureau (“PSB”) officials started investigations the very next day and detained another person with the same name from Drakpa’s monastery, Nyitso Monastery.
This incident led to the flight of Drakpa, while the one in police custody was released after 15 days’ detention when the officers realised their mistake. Tawu County Police finally arrested Drakpa in May 2000 from a village nearby Lhasa after having recieved information about his hideout. He was beaten severely during detention to extract confession for his alleged crime at Tawu County PSB Detention Centre, and his family members were denied visitation rights. The head of the police team, Yeshi, was rewarded with a car for his “exemplary deed”. A security post was set up within the vicinity of Tawu Monastery manned by about 15 PSB officials and Yeshi was put in charge.
On 5 October 2000, the County Court in a closed trial sentenced Drakpa to nine years’ imprisonment sentence on charges of “endangering state securty” and “incitement against the masses”. It was only in December of that year that his family members were allowed to pass him food although personal visits were still not permitted. Normally, a prisoner would be transferred to a prison after sentencing, but in Drakpa’s case, he was continued to be detained at Tawu County Detention Centre. It was reported that Drakpa was so severely tortured in prison that both his legs and hands were fractured. He could not stand on his own and required support from his fellow prisoners to go to bathroom.
Nyima Drakpa was born in Tawu County, Kardze “TAP”, Sichuan Province. He was a 29-year-old monk of the local Tawu Nyitso Monastery. He went to a primary school for three years and spent one year in County Middle School. Until his admission in Tawu Nyitso Monastery in 1989, Drakpa engaged himself in farming. After a year’s stay at the monastery, he fled to India in 1990 and stayed for three years in a monastery in South India. In 1994, Drakpa returned to his monastery in Tibet where he stayed until his escape to Lhasa in the wake of impending arrest for his pro-independence postings.