Monk released after three years in prison

Lobsang Gyatso
Lobsang Gyatso

21st April 2017

Lobsang Gyatso was imprisoned for protesting with a hand-drawn Tibetan flag in 2014

A Tibetan monk has been released after three years in prison. Lobsang Gyatso was released from Mianyang Prison in Ngaba, eastern Tibet, on 19 April.

Prior to his arrest, Lobsang Gyatso resided at Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, which has been the scene of numerous protests in recent years. On 2 April 2014, he staged a solo protest in the main street of Ngaba County, holding a hand-drawn Tibetan flag and shouting slogans calling for Tibet's freedom and for the return of the Dalai Lama.

Although Lobsang Gyatso initially evaded the police after his protest, he was found two weeks later at Kirti Monastery and detained. He was found guilty of separatism and given a three-year sentence.

Lobsang Gyatso, who was 20 years old at the time, did not receive a fair trial, with his family not permitted to appoint their own defence lawyer to represent him.

Freedom at last

The release of Lobsang Gyatso follows several other prisoner releases in April, including Lobsang Konchok, who had been in prison since 2011, and Tsultrim Gyatso and Thinley Tsering, both of whom were imprisoned in 2008.

Take action

Demolitions and removals have restarted at Larung Gar Buddhist Institute. There are no details of the scale at present but it is important to intervene now to put international pressure on China to halt them.