A Tibetan monk who is also a songwriter was released from prison last month after completing a five-year prison term and returned to his hometown in Tridu (Ch: Chenduo) County in Kyegudo (Ch: Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, in the Tibetan province of Kham. Lobsang Jinpa, 35, was sentenced on 23 February 2013 along with the famous Tibetan singer Lolo who received…
“I hate lies and intrigues. The purpose of my life is to secure truth and justice”
– Gyitsang Takmig
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) welcomes the release of Tibetan activist writer Kelsang Tsultrim aka Gyitsang Takmig who was unjustly sentenced to four years in prison for engaging in ‘separatist’ activities in 2011.
TCHRD believes that the activist writer was punished for his peaceful resistance to destructive Chinese policies. His prison sentence represents yet another attempt at silencing individual Tibetans who speak truth to power and demand accountability from the Chinese government over its policy failure in Tibet.
In his first speech as the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein declared “courage is the first human virtue… The courageous individual is he or she who has nothing to wield but common sense, reason and the law, and is prepared to forfeit future, family, friends and even life in defence of others, or to end injustice.”
On the same day that High Commissioner Al Hussein opened the 27th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva with these strong words, Radio Free Asia reported that Jigme Gyatso of Labrang Monastery in Gannan (Tib: Kanlho) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province had been sentenced to five years in prison for “splittist activities.” This is the first news of Jigme Gyatso since the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) obtained a copy of Jigme Gyatso’s arrest warrant in February 2012. The arrest warrant was issued almost five months after Jigme Gyatso was arrested from his hotel room by 40 police officers.
Writer, essayist, blogger, chronicler, environmentalist and amateur photographer Kunga Tsayang has been released after serving almost five years’ of imprisonment for allegedly writing political essays criticizing Chinese policies in Tibet.
According to reliable information received by TCHRD, Kunga Tsayang, who is also a monk from Labrang Tashikyil Monastery and wrote under a pen name “Sun of Snowland” (Tibetan: Gang Nyi) was released at around 8.30 am on 12 January 2014 from a prison in Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province.
A source with contacts in Tibet told TCHRD that after release, Kunga Tsayang went to Labrang Monastery and from there on 14 January 2014, he returned to his hometown in Chikdril County in Golok (Ch: Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, where a grand ceremony was held to celebrate his release. Local Tibetans, both young and old, came in droves bearing ceremonial scarves, as they burned juniper leaves and scattered ‘windhorse prayer flags’ (Tib: lungta) in the air to celebrate his release.
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.
Tashi Rabten (pen name: Theurang) is a Tibetan writer and poet who is serving a four-year sentence in Mianyang Prison, Sichuan Province. He graduated from North-West University for Nationalities and wrote for the now-banned Tibetan language journal “Shar Dungri” and also published “Written in Blood”, a compilation of his poems, notes and writings on the situation in Tibet following the 2008 protests.
On the fifth anniversary of 14 March 2008 protest in Lhasa, TCHRD has translated and edited one of Theurang’s essays written before his arrest and subsequent imprisonment in 2009. The essay was republished in exile in the book “Reflections on 2008 Protests: a Collection of Essays by Tibetan Intellectuals in Tibet”, by Domey Editorial Committee, Dharamsala, India.
A monk and a singer had been sentenced to five years and six years respectively by a Chinese court in Siling (Ch: Xining), capital of Qinghai Province.
On 23 February 2013, Lobsang Jinpa, 31, a monk from Nyatso Zilkar Monastery was sentenced to five years in prison, according to reliable information received by TCHRD. The monastery is located in Tridu (Ch: Chenduo) County in Kyegudo (Ch: Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.
Four monks from Gyalrong Tsodun Monastery have been sentenced to long prison terms by the Barkham Intermediate People’s Court in Barkham (Ch: Ma’erkang), capital of Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.
According to reliable information received by TCHRD, Namsey, 18, was sentenced to 10 years while Yarphel, 18, was handed six years’ imprisonment. Two other Tsodun monks, Lobsang Sangay, 19, and Asong, 22, were sentenced to two years, and two years and six months respectively. The sentences were passed in the middle of this month.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) has received information from a reliable source that, Rinzin Wangyal a.k.a Rinwang, 59, died in prison at the end of 2004. There has been no official confirmation of Rinzin Wangyal’s death. It has been reported that his body was not handed over his family.
Rinzin was serving a life imprisonment term in Pawo Tramo Prison, 250 km east of Lhasa. According to the most recent information received by TCHRD on 31 May 2004, his health condition was known to have gravely deteriorated due to constant torture over the years in prison.
Chinese authorities have released Geshe Sonam Phuntsok upon completion of his five years imprisonment term, according to confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD). Geshe Sonam Phuntsok, popularly known as Kardze Geshe, was imprisoned for his religious activities and for conducting long life prayer ceremony for the Dalai Lama in October 1999.
Early morning on 26 October 2004, Chinese Public Security Bureau (“PSB”) Officials brought Geshe in a government vehicle to his native Rongbatsang District in Kardze County, Kardze Tibet Autonomous Prefecture (“TAP”), Sichuan. He had earlier arrived in Dartsedo County on 24 October 2004 where he had undergone medical treatment after release from Chuandong no 3 Prison in Tazhu County.
Luzi Tashi Phuntsok, who was serving seven years’ imprisonment sentence in Yakra Phuk Prison (Tib translit: gyag ra phuk), was released on 28 July 2003, according to reliable information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD). On 30 July, Tashi reportedly arrived at Jamyang Choekhorling Monastery in Nyakchuka County, Karze “Tibet Autonomous Prefecture” (“TAP”), Sichuan Province.
Tashi was arbitrarily arrested on 17 April 2002 from his monastery and detained in Nyakchuka County Public Security Bureau (PSB) Detention Centre for a day. Later, he was transferred to Yakra Phuk Prison. In the end of November 2002, Karze People’s Intermediate Court sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment on alleged charges of colluding with Trulku Tenzin Delek, a respected Buddhist teacher in eastern Tibet. On 2 December 2002, Karze Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Trulku Tenzin Delek to death with a suspension of two years for allegedly “causing bomb explosions”. Another Tibetan, Lobsang Dhondup, was executed on 26 January 2002 for the same charges.