19/01/2020

Tibetan monk detained for writing book on self-immolation released after two years

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Tristen after release from detention
Tristen after release from detention

A Tibetan monk was released earlier this month after being detained two years ago for writing a book on self-immolation protests. Tritsen, 29, who wrote the book under his pen name, Tri Bhoe Trak, was released on 19 March, according to exile Tibetan sources.

There is no information available on his current condition or events leading to his sentencing. No details are available on how long he was kept in detention, when he was sentenced or whether he was allowed to hire a lawyer to defend himself. Although no confirmed information is available on the exact charges, some sources say he was sentenced for ‘causing social disputes’ and ‘inciting separatism’.

TCHRD had reported earlier on the disappearance of Tritsen after he was arbitrary detained on 11 March 2013 by armed police while he was en route to Gade (Ch: Gande) County in Golok (Ch: Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

Tritsen was a monk at Tongkyap Monastery before his detention. He was detained on 11 March 2013, a couple of days after the release and distribution of his book “Denpai Khalang” (Eng: Breath of Truth) at Tongkyap Monastery on 8 March 2013. His detention was followed by a blanket crackdown on the monastery on 15 March 2013, when a group of Gade County officials ordered the surrender of the names of the monks who had facilitated the financial requirement for the book’s publication. Their efforts failed as none of the monks confessed. On 17 March 2013, a large scale crackdown was launched on the monastery when about a hundred security personnel and officials from Gade County were deployed and ‘patriotic education’ campaign was launched at the monastery.

Cover of the book on self-immolation
Cover of the book on self-immolation

Tristen’s book contained essays on self-immolation protests by Tibetans and in particular, featured a biography on Lama Soeba, the abbot of Tongkyap Monastery who died of self-immolation protest on 8 January 2012. Lama Soeba was a reincarnated lama and became one of the highest ranking Tibetan religious personalities to commit self-immolation protest.

Tritsen was born and raised in Gyagor Mema nomadic camp of Dokha Village in Gade County. His family consists of his mother Phakmo who lives near Tongkyap monastery.