Monk released after serving a two-year prison sentence
A monk from Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, eastern Tibet, was released from a prison for minors yesterday after serving his two-year prison sentence.
Lobsang Tenpa was 19 years old when he staged a solo protest on the afternoon of 26 April 2014. He marched towards the county administration centre shouting slogans against the Chinese government and calling for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. He carried a large picture of the Dalai Lama while wearing a bandana with a hand-drawn Tibetan flag on it. After a few minutes of protest, local police arrested him and took him away.
In November 2014, the People’s Intermediate Court in Barkham County sentenced him two years in prison on charges of involvement in separatist activities. His family were allowed to be present at the court hearing but were given no opportunity to appoint a lawyer on his behalf.
After his release, Lobsang Tenpa's family went to Chengdu to receive him. They arrived back home in Ngaba today, 6 May.
The street where Lobsang Tenpa protested has been named ‘Martyrs Street’ by local Tibetans as a number of self-immolation and other protests have taken place there. In recent years Ngaba has been the scene of numerous protests by Tibetans. Last week Losang Thubten, a monk from Meruma Township in Ngaba, was arrested after carrying out a solo protest.
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Lobsang Tenpa has been released, but many more protestors remain imprisoned, where they are at risk of torture.