15/12/2019

Two Tibetan singers secretly sentenced but whereabouts unknown

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Tibetan singer Chakdor sentenced to two years in prison. His whereabouts remain unknown.
Tibetan singer Chakdor sentenced to four years in prison. His whereabouts remain unknown.

Two Tibetan singers who were detained last year for releasing a music album titled “Agony of Unhealed Wounds” had been secretly sentenced to four years in prison in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.

According to reliable information received by TCHRD, singers Pema Trinley, 22, and Chakdor, 32, both hailing from Meuruma nomadic village, had recorded and distributed a music DVD containing songs about current situation in Tibet including self-immolation protests, as well as songs in praise of the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama, Kirti Rinpoche (exiled head of the Kirti monastery) and Lobsang Sangay (exiled Tibetan political leader). In July 2012, days after the release of the music album, both singers were arrested in the neighbouring Machu (Ch: Maqu)  County in Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province. For over six months, they were detained in Ngaba County, sources told TCHRD, before their secret sentencing in February this year.

Pema Trinley sentenced to two years in prison but whereabouts remain unknown.
Pema Trinley sentenced to two years in prison but whereabouts remain unknown.

Despite confirmed information about their sentencing, it is still unknown where they are imprisoned. Sources said family members of both singers were notified by local authorities through a letter stating that Pema Trinley and Chakdor were being imprisoned at Mianyang Prison in Sichuan Province. However, family members and relatives of the singers travelled to Mianyang at least two times but were turned away by prison officials who claimed that the two singers are not in that prison. The confusion and secrecy surrounding the whereabouts of the singers have added to the suffering of their loved ones who have apparently not seen them since their arbitrary detention.

Furthermore, two other Tibetans who collaborated with the sentenced singers on the music album have also gone missing. The whereabouts and wellbeing of musician Khenrap and lyricist Nyagdompo remain unknown.

Pema Trinley is the son of late Mr. Zamlha and Mrs. Tserima. He is also related to Chakdor, whose father’s name is Chokden Dowa. Chakdor is also a close cousin of Choepa who died of self-immolation protest on 10 August 2012  in Ngaba County.

TCHRD has received a copy of the album, “Agony of Unhealed Wounds.” The centre will soon release English translations of some of the songs.

A translation of Chakdor’s song,”This is How It is” from the same album is available here: http://highpeakspureearth.com/2013/music-video-this-is-how-it-is-by-chakdor/