Driru repression continues
Following months of repression in Driru county in central Tibet, a man has died in police custody and two others have had long prison sentences imposed upon them.
Beaten to death
Kunchok Drakpa was arrested in December 2013. He was an advocate of protecting the environment and had spoken out against Chinese mining. Recently, his body – which bore signs of severe beatings and torture – was returned to his family. Kunchok Drakpa was married with two small sons. His family were threatened and told not to discuss his death with anyone. In December, monk Ngawang Jamyang also from Driru was killed in custody.
Severe sentences for Tibet protesters
In related trials, a monk and a lay person were given sentences of 10 and 11 years’ imprisonment. Arrested in November 2013, Kelsang Choklang from Tarmoe monastery was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment on charges of "illegally gathering a crowd" in January of the same year. During the same month, Dorjee Dagtsel was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment. Among other "crimes", he was convicted for allegedly being one of the leaders of the May 2013 protest against Chinese mining activities at the sacred Nalha Zamba mountain and for disturbing the work of officials stationed in Driru. The arrest of Dorjee Dagtsel sparked the protest which security forces opened fire upon in October 2013. At least 60 people were injured.
Other Driru residents have also faced severe prison sentences for alleged involvement in the protests last May, including prominent Tibetan singer Trinley Tsekar.