18 years in prison for Dalai Lama picture

1st April 2014

Senior monk from Driru County targeted by China after protests

A Tibetan monk has been given a severe sentence after Chinese police found banned pictures and teachings of the Dalai Lama in his room, during a raid. Thardhod Gyaltsen from Drongna monastery in Driru County was sentenced to eighteen years imprisonment for inciting "separatism". He was well known for his promotion of Tibetan culture and Buddhism, both in the monastery and amongst the locals.   Gyaltsen’s father was one of the thousand Tibetans killed by Chinese authorities during the 1969 Driru County protests.

Driru sensitive area

Last May, Driru was the scene of an anti-mining protest. In September, Tibetans refused to fly Chinese flags, leading to a severe crackdown and political re-education program by Chinese authorities. Peaceful demonstrators were arrested, shot and severely beaten in the area. Driru has seen further protests and continued crackdown with large numbers of arbitrary detentions and individuals getting sentences of up to 13 years. Tibetans from Driru are also being closely monitored when traveling to other parts of Tibet. Neighbouring Sog County has seen increased arrests and security presence to contain any further protests. The situation in Driru remains extremely tense, with monks forbidden from carrying out prayer sessions and daily monastic activities being severely restricted due to the conditions imposed by Chinese authorities.

Take action

Driru is the hometown of our Jailed Tibetan Musicians, Trinley Tsekar and Gongpo Tsezin. Trinley Tsekar was given a nine year sentence last year for his involvement in the mining protest but his popularity as a singer may have been part of the reason for his long sentence. Please sign our petition calling on China to release Tibet's imprisoned musicians. action10.jpg