Family members of the renowned Tibetan businessman Dorjee Tashi have been cautioned by police against protesting his innocence after calling for his release last week. They are nevertheless awaiting a response from the local court.
Last week, family members including Dorjee Tashi’s elder sister, Gonpo Kyi, staged protests outside Tibet Higher People’s Court in Lhasa. They held a written banner stating: ‘the charge and judgement of Tibet’s Higher People’s Court of Tibetan Autonomous Region against Dorjee Tashi is false and unfair.’
A source told Tibet Watch that, after one protest, security personnel outside the court took Gonpo Kyi away to a police station somewhere in Lhasa. When her brother Dorjee Tsetan later came to take her home, police threatened to arrest the pair if they continued to protest. Undeterred by this, they carried out another demonstration the following day.
On Saturday, Tibet Watch received an update that Dorjee Tseten and Gonpo Kyi had agreed to temporarily cease their protests after court authorities promised to respond in a week.
The source added that the pair are “determined to protest if authorities failed to resolve or delay the case.”
Gonpo Kyi had previously staged a sit-in protest about her brother’s continued detention in front of the same court last June. Dorjee Tseten wrote an open letter arguing that his younger brother had been framed by powerful leaders.
Dorjee Tashi was detained on 10 July 2008 and subsequently charged with loan fraud. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and has already spent more than 14 years in prison, despite the Beijing-based Zheng Xin Law Firm stating that Dorjee Tashi’s loan fraud conviction was false. His lawyers claim that he had in fact committed the lesser crime of capital misappropriation in the Qin Sangyuan company, where he was the biggest investor.
According to the source, the last virtual meeting that Dorjee Tashi’s family was able to have with him was in December 2021. No physical visit or meeting has been permitted since 2019.
Information supplied by Tibet Watch