Akyakya was arrested for organising celebrations for the Dalai Lama’s birthday.
A former Tibetan political prisoner, Akyakya (sometimes transliterated by Tibetans as Ajaja), was released from jail after completing a five-year prison sentence on 12 December 2020.
Akyakya, formerly a monk at Kirti Monastery in Ngaba in eastern Tibet, was arrested by the Chinese police in 2016 along with nine other Tibetans.
“The former political prisoner was sentenced to five years of imprisonment in 2016 by the Ngaba Intermediate Public Court on the charges of being involved in organising the celebration of 80th birth anniversary of the Dalai Lama and influencing others in the area to do the same”, said Kanyak Tsering, spokesperson at Dharamsala based Kirti monastery.
Prior to this sentence, Akyakya was also imprisoned for three years in 2011 for protesting against Chinese rule when Lobsang Phuntsok carried out a self-immolation protest to demonstrate his disapproval of China's occupation of Tibet.
Whilst Akyakya was released from jail last month, the nine other Tibetans who were sentenced to jail with him are yet to be released. These Tibetans participated in protests against Chinese rule in Tibet between 2008 to 2011.
The current health condition of Akyakya is unknown.
We are demanding that the UK government hold Chen responsible for these widespread abuses. Chen’s name must be added to the global human rights sanctions regime list, to send a signal to Beijing that abuses against Tibetans and Uyghurs will not just be monitored, but also punished.
Please take action and sign our petition to the Foreign Secretary, demanding that Chen is banned from travelling to the UK.