Further details have emerged about the political prisoner and Tibetan monk Rinchen Tsultrim, who is serving a prison sentence of four years and six months. Rinchen Tsultrim was arrested in Ngaba County in August 2019 and later imprisoned after being found guilty of “inciting secession”.
Rinchen Tsultrim’s condition, whereabouts and the circumstances of his trial were largely unknown until August 2021, when a response from China to a letter from four United Nations human rights experts was made public.
In its response, China reiterated its claim that Rinchen Tsultrim had incited secession, and was charged accordingly. However, the reply did not disclose any information about his condition or which prison he was being held in.
An external Tibetan source working with Tibet Watch, Free Tibet’s research partner, supplied additional information about his condition this week. The source has confirmed reports that Rinchen Tsultrim is being held in Miyang Prison, near to the city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. His condition is reported to be “fine”, but the source also stated that Rinchen Tsultrim is undergoing “reform through labour” in prison, which is well-documented to amount to physical and psychological torture.
Despite the Chinese authorities’ initial assurance that family members would be allowed to visit him, the source has confirmed that this has not been the case. In fact, Tsultrim’s family has been barred from visiting him or seeing him in person, with just 10-minute phone calls permitted.
His family have also been prevented from sending him food and clothing. Rinchen Tsultrim has requested that his family send him a picture of his parents. The source states that Rinchen Tsultrim’s father travelled to the Ngapa County police station to fulfil this request, but it is uncertain whether the officials allowed the photos to be sent on to the prison.
Lastly, Tibet Watch has informed Free Tibet that two Tibetan prisoners from the aforementioned Miyang Prison were released between the 5 and 6 June. One is from Kirti monastery in Ngaba County, while the other is a businessman from Tsonon Golog prefecture. To protect them, their names and news of their releases are being kept hidden for the time being.
Information supplied by Tibet Watch