16/11/2019

Tibetan man imprisoned in connection with sister’s self-immolation released after three years

  •   
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Choezin is seen here being welcomed by local Tibetans a day after his release. [RFA]
Choezin is seen here being welcomed by local Tibetans a day after his release. [RFA]
Chinese authorities have released a Tibetan man after he completed a three-year sentence for allegedly having links with the self-immolation protest of his sister in Dzamthang (Ch: Rangtang) County, Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

Exile Tibetan sources have reported that the man named Choezin, whose age is not known, was released on 27 September from Mianyang Prison near the provincial capital of Chengdu. His family members, who had arrived at the prison facility to receive him, were not allowed to take him home. Instead the police officers accompanied him home. Aside from looking weak and scrawny, not much is known about his health condition. A day after his return, he visited the local Jonang Monastery to offer his prayers.

Choezin’s sister Kalkyi, 30, was a mother of four children when she died of self-immolation on 24 March 2013 near Jonang Monastery. Local Tibetans apparently managed to save her body from being confiscated by the Chinese security forces.

Choezin was among the many known and unknown Tibetans who were arbitrarily detained during China’s systematic crackdown on self-immolation protests. Many Tibetans were imprisoned without due process of law as part of China’s criminalization of self-immolation protests with charges ranging from ‘intentional homicide’ to ‘instigating self-immolation’

Since February 2009, a total of 145 known Tibetans have self-immolated inside Tibet. TCHRD Political Prisoners Database shows that Chinese authorities have sentenced 87 known Tibetans in connection with self-immolation protests either for ‘intentional homicide’ or ‘illegal sharing information of the self-immolators with outsiders’.

Like Choezin, a total of 13 known Tibetans were sentenced to three years for allegedly having links with self-immolation protests. The heaviest sentence was given to Dolma Kyab who was charged of homicide and sentenced to death. Article 232 of Chinese Criminal Law states that, “Whoever intentionally commits homicide shall be sentenced to death, life imprisonment or fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years; if the circumstances are relatively minor, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years”.