The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) is overcome with grief over the death of the prominent former political prisoner Jigme Gyatso AKA Labrang Jigme at about 12.15 pm local time on 2 July this year.
A senior Tibetan monk who spoke on camera about how he was tortured in detention by Chinese police was released this week after serving five years’ imprisonment.
Jigme Gyatso, a former monastic official at Labrang Tashikyil Monastery, was released in the evening after dusk on 26 October from the maximum security Lanzhou Prison located in Chengguan District of Lanzhou City, capital of Gansu Province.
Chinese authorities recently arrested a Tibetan man because he helped to protect the body of a self-immolation protester from falling into the hands of the police four years ago in his hometown in Sangkhok Township in Labrang (Ch: Sangchu) County, Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) ‘Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture’ (‘TAP’), Gansu Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.
Chinese authorities in Gansu Province last year issued an order to expel monks who had come from Tibetan areas outside Gansu to pursue their religious studies in monasteries (including the famed Labrang Tashikyil Monastery) located in the province.
This was revealed by Samten Jigme (name changed), a former Labrang monk, in his testimony to TCHRD. Samten Jigme fled Tibet and arrived in India this month.
The order is now being implemented at Rongwo Monastery in Rebkong (Ch: Tongren) County in Malho (Ch: Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, according to Samten Jigme. (For more on Rongwo, please see here, here, and here)
A Chinese court has given heavy prison terms to six Tibetans “for their roles in an October self-immolation case,” reported the Chinese government-owned news agency Xinhua on 31 January.
On 23 October 2012, a Tibetan farmer, Dorjee Rinchen, 58, died after setting his body on fire in protest against Chinese rule at Gyugya market on the main street of Sangchu county, which was located near a Chinese military camp. After the self-immolation protest, his body was taken to his home village Zayu in Sangchu. This was done to protect him from getting into the hands of Chinese officers. His family members were able to conduct necessary rites and rituals after his death. Security officers even tried to stop the Labrang monks from going to Dorjee Rinchen’s home for prayers.
Latest information from reliable source reveals more details of monk Jigme Gyatso’s arrest. On 19 August, Jigme was invited to Tsoe city for a festival where other popular Tibetans, like singer Sherten, were also invited. When he did not turn up for the event, his two students went in search of their teacher. On reaching the hotel, around 7 o’clock in the evening (local time), there were many police officials who did not allow the two monks to enter the room in which monk Jigme was staying. The police told them that Jigme is not inside. However, the two heard their teacher’s voice from the room, as he told them both to leave before any more problems are created. Jigme’s student also saw him lying on his bed through the windows of his room.
On 20 August 2011, monk Jigme Gyatso was arrested once again by the PSB from a hotel called ‘Z-hong Yan’ in Tsoe city (Ch: Hezou), Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province. Sources say that before his arrest police and security personnel “raided” his room, thoroughly checking his belongings including his computer system. CD’s were also seized in the raid. There were around ten monks and few others present during Jigme’s arrest. They asked the police the reason for his arrest but the police did not answer.
Jigme a.k.a Jigme Gyatso of Labrang Monastery was first arrested on 28 March 2008 while returning to his monastery from market. He was detained and tortured for two months in detention center for his suspected role in 2008 Tibetan uprising.
Two Tibetans who were earlier sentenced on 21 May 2009 by the Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Intermediate People’s Court to life and another to 15 years’ imprisonment terms were denied access to family members since their detention for more than a year, according to information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).
Tsultrim Gyatso, a 37-year-old from Yigchung Thang Village in Labrang (Ch: Xiahe) County, and Thabkhay Gyatso, 34, from Sangkhog Township in Labrang County were detained for their participation in the protests that took place in Labrang on 14 and 15 May 2008. Both Tsultrim and Thabkhay are monks of Labrang Monastery in Sangchu County, Gannan “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture” (‘TAP’) Gansu Province. Tsultrim Gyatso immediately left Sangchu County after the demonstration to avoid arrest but was eventually tracked down and arrested by Drugchu County Public Security Bureau (PSB) personnel on 22 May 2008. There is no clear information on Thabkhay Gyatso’s place and date of detention.
A group of Tibetan school students staged a demonstration around 8 a.m. today morning in Labrang (Ch: Xiahe) County, Gannan “Tibet Autonomous Prefecture”, Gansu Province, according to reliable information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).
The students started off the demonstration from their school, Xiahe Tibetan Middle School, and headed towards the county market area raising slogans. Reportedly the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) stopped the students in the outskirts of the main market area. According to sources on the ground, the students were driven back to the school and a strong contingent of Public Security Bureau Personnels and People’s Armed Police have surrounded the school barring anyone to go in or come out. The parents of the students have been summoned at the school. The students reportedly demonstrated against the authorities false practice of granting reserved seats for higher education meant for the Tibetan students to the Chinese students. The TCHRD will continue to monitor the situation and will issue updates as further details become available.
A Tibetan monk from Ngaba Gomang Monastery was arrested in the beginning of this month for alleged anti government writings, according to information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).
Dokru Tsultrim, a Tibetan monk who recently wrote two articles critical of the Chinese government was picked up by the Chinese security forces from his room at Ngaba Gomang Monastery.
Dokru was accused of writing two articles that criticized the Chinese government and supported the “separatist forces of the Dalai Lama,” according to the source.
Jigme Gyatso, a 48-year-old Tibetan political prisoner from Amdo Kersul, who is serving 17 years’ prison sentence is learnt to be seriously ill following years of torture and ill-treatment in the prison since 1996, according to information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) from reliable sources.
The Centre expresses its deepest concern at the continued imprisonment of seriously ill Jigme Gyatso and urges the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to order his immediate release on compassionate health grounds. Jigme Gyatso is currently serving his sentence in Chushul Prison (Ch: Quhui), on the outskirt of Lhasa city.