Tibetans burning juniper, an activity that has faced tight restrictions in recent years

Four Tibetans rearrested and secretly sentenced to prison

Tibet Watch has learned that four Tibetans in eastern Tibet who were detained, beaten and tortured last summer were rearrested two months ago. They were subsequently sentenced to prison in a secret trial.

Bamo, Gelo, Khori and Tsedou are all from the village of Awi-Kyil-Rigo in Khe-Khor Township in Serthar County. Alongside a fifth Tibetan, Shukdar, the four were greatly admired in their village, with locals calling them the “Five Good People”.

On 24 August, the five were arrested by authorities in Serthar County. They were accused of holding religious activities including burning juniper and reciting prayers.

Two days into their detention, on 26 August 2022, Shukdar’s family received a call from the police, informing them that he had died in custody and asking them to collect his body. His father and a few other relatives went to the detention centre and were told that “he had died suddenly” and not been killed as a result of his treatment by police. The family members were asked to sign a letter stating his death as natural.

Ya'an Prison in Karze County, where the four are currently imprisoned

Ya’an Prison in Karze County, where the four are currently imprisoned

Shukdar’s father said that his son, who was around 52 years old, has no health issues and “must have been beaten to death”. Police promised to pay 100,000 yuan (GBP 11,000) compensation followed by yearly payments of 10,000 yuan, but the family did not receive any of this money.

Meanwhile, the remaining four detainees were taken to Kardze County on 31 August 2022 and held without trial or access to family members until their release in July 2023. During this time they were beaten and tortured.

Although Bamo, Gelo, Khori and Tsedou were released, it has now been confirmed that two months ago they were rearrested and tried in secret. The four were handed two-year prison sentences.

A source noted that in the case of three of the prisoners, their detention period of six months would be included in their sentence, but that Khori was required to start a fresh two-year prison sentence.

All four are serving their sentences in Yak-Nga (Chinese; Ya’an) Prison.

Information supplied by Tibet Watch

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