The anti-corruption activist and community leader A-Nya Sengdra remains in prison with little progress with his appeal, his lawyer has revealed.
Lin Qilei stated that on 8 January 2024, he visited the Sixth Circuit Court of the Supreme People’s Court, based in the city of Xi’an, to inquire about the status of the court appeal of A-Nya Sengdra. There, he was informed that the appeal is still under review and that he should wait patiently.
A-Nya Sengdra has already served six years of a seven-year prison sentence.
Prior to his arrest, A-Nya Sengdra was widely known as a campaigner against illegal mining, illegal hunting and poaching of endangered animals and alleged corruption among local authorities. He is from Gade County, which is located in Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in eastern Tibet.
He was detained by the Gade County Public Security Bureau in September 2018, charged with “gathering people to disturb public order” and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”.
Acting as A-Nya Sengdra’s defence lawyer, Lin Qilei stated at the time that he believed these charges were false and were instead related to an ongoing government-led campaign targeting Tibetans involved in political activity or celebrating their culture, which the Chinese government publicised as a crackdown on ”underworld forces”.
A-Nya Sengdra, then 47 years old, was reportedly beaten in detention and held for over a year before being sentenced to seven years in prison by Golog People’s Intermediate Court on 6 December 2019. During his detention period, his wife Yangkyi was denied access to visit him.
His case was taken up by a number of Tibet groups, while in 2020, a group of UN human rights experts wrote to the Chinese government in 2020, urging it to drop the charges against him.
Lin Qilei has previously attempted to check on the status of A-Nya Sengdra’s appeal. On 10 July 2023, he posted on his Twitter account that he had previously travelled to Xi’an to visit the Sixth Circuit Court of the Supreme People’s Court:
“I inquired about the progress of the case after submitting a power of attorney to the bungalow that serves as a screening building and a reception room. The female receptionist told me that there was no such case. I further requested her and she called a bailiff to inquire.”
“When I showed him the ”Notice of Refusal of Appeal from the Qinghai Provincial Higher People’s Court” , he informed me that the appeal materials had been received on 6 June after the query and will be reviewed in three months according to the rules, [you] need to come for inquiries after 6 September.”
Although Lin Qilei has since sent information regarding his efforts to secure an appeal, there was no information about A-Nya’s current condition after six years in prison.
Information supplied by Tibet Watch