Tibetan political prisoner freed after nine-year jail term

Picture shows Buddhist monk Choktrin Gyatso as a young man (left) and  a more recent image (right)
Picture shows Buddhist monk Choktrin Gyatso as a young man (left) and a more recent image (right)

28th April 2017

The monk, in his mid-40s, was arrested following widespread protests across Tibet in March 2008

Tibetan political prisoner and Buddhist monk Choktrin Gyatso has been released after serving nine years in jail. He was freed one year early, but authorities at the prison in Xining, eastern Tibet (Ch: Qinghai Province) where he was incarcerated have provided no reason for the clemency.

Choktrin Gyatso had been a monk at Tsang Monastery in Malho in eastern Tibet (Ch: Huangnan) where he was arrested in April 2008 following widespread protests against Chinese rule that fanned out across the whole of Tibet throughout the spring of that year.

Charged with being the alleged ringleader of a protest in the town he was imprisoned for ten years. The monk, now in his mid-40s was also accused of having contacts with external "separatist groups."

SENTENCE CUT SHORT

Prior to his release his family were instructed by local officials not to take any photographs nor to organise any home-coming event. He was taken home from the prison at midnight, presumably to minimise any attention his return may have drawn.

Following his release Choktrin Gyatso visited his former monastery and is now staying at his home in Nyitha Township, Malho.

In 2002, Choktrin Gyatso journeyed to southern India where he joined the Sera Monastery and studied there for three years, returning to Tibet following his overseas education.

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Despite China's harsh military occupation Tibetans continue to resist and protest. Within Tibet, rightfully termed an 'open air prison,' Tibetans are punished with harassment, arrest and lengthy prison terms. Take action for Tibet’s political prisoners - write to the Chinese authorities and demand their freedom.