Yonten Gyatso

Monk sentenced to seven years in prison for sending an email

In October 2011, a senior monk at Khashi Monastery named Yonten Gyatso (born 1974), disappeared. It was later learned, in August 2012, that he had been sentenced to seven years in prison in June of the same year.

For the supposed ‘crime’ of sharing information outside of Tibet, he was taken away and detained at Ngaba County military camp, before being transferred to a prison in Tridu City where he was brutally tortured and kept in a dark room.

Illegal emails

Yonten Gyatso, imprisoned 2011

Yonten Gyatso, imprisoned in 2011

Yonten, who also founded a Tibetan-language primary school in the village of Khashishul, was arrested for allegedly sharing photographs and information about the self-immolation of Tenzin Wangmo, a nun from Dechen Chokor Ling Nunnery, Ngaba County, via email. He was further accused of spreading information about the situation in Tibet since 2008 by making telephone calls to United Nations’ human rights offices.

Yonten Gyatso was serving his sentence at Mianyang Prison in Sichuan Province. However, there has been no update on his incarceration or condition since 2012, and it is unknown if he has been released.

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