Zangkar Jamyang

Tibetan writer imprisoned following secret trial

Held incommunicado for nearly three years, the truth about what happened to Jamyang has now come to light.

Zangkar Jamyang, 47, was arbitrarily detained and held incommunicado by police on 4 June 2020. Nearly three years later, in December 2022, his family discovered that he was charged with “inciting splittist acts and spreading rumours in WeChat groups,” and sentenced to four years in prison.

What triggered Jamyang’s arrest remains unknown. However, it is believed to be linked to an essay written on 25 May 2020 in which he highlighted that “Tibetans have the right to learn Tibetan language, and that’s legalised by Chinese laws.” The essay was seemingly written in response to the Chinese government practice of teaching only Mandarin in the schools near to where Jamyang lived.

This was not Jamyang’s first encounter with Chinese authorities. It is reported that, on several occasions, the writer was summoned to his local police station wherein he was interrogated and his laptop and mobile phone were searched by police.

The truth around Zangkar Jamyang’s arrest and imprisonment has been shrouded in secrecy for three years due to threats against his family. Reportedly, Jamyang’s family were warned by police that they could face prison time if news of his arrest were to be shared to those outside of occupied Tibet.

Zangkar Jamyang hails from Upper Zangkar Village (ཟངས་དཀར་སྟོད་མ།) in Kyungchu County (ཁྱུང་མཆུ་རྫོང་།) of Ngaba. He has written a number of essays which have been published in magazines and social media, as well as a book Struggle with Wild Tongue (འཕག་འཚག་རྒོད་པའི་ལྕེ།) which features a compilation of his writings. 

It is believed that Jamyang is being held in Menyang Prison (Ch: Mianyang) near Chengdu in Sichuan Province, but his present condition, health, and wellbeing remain unknown. His mother, father, wife, and two children hold out hope for his timely and safe return.

Information supplied by Tibet Watch

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