Tibetans in Nagchu continue to be persecuted

26th March 2015

Political prisoners released in poor health

More disappeared from Tsanden Monastery

38 year old Lobsang Dawa is the latest monk to be arrested from Tsanden Monastery in Sog County, Nagchu Prefecture, on 20 March 2015. Previously seven other monks from this monastery were arrested by China's police. Although no reasons have been given for their arbitrary arrests, local Tibetans believe it could be due to sharing information on the mobile phone app "WeChat"

Political prisoner released in poor health

Ngawang Gyurmey was released in poor health after serving 15 years in prison on 20 March 2015. He is also from Tsanden Monastery.

Ngawang Gyurmey.jpgNgawang Gyurmey

Whilst in prison he suffered from chronic lung disease as a result of torture and was prescribed wrong medication by prison doctors. He was only taken to hospital when he was on the verge of dying. Ngawang Gyurmey was arrested in March 2000 along with five others, on charges of distributing leaflets and posters with messages of "Long Live His Holiness the Dalai Lama”, "China Out of Tibet" and "Bod Rangzen Yin" (Tibet is Independent) in public places. At the end of 2000, Nagchu People's Intermediate Court handed out sentences of 15 years to Ngawang Gurmey, life imprisonment to Si Khedup, 15 years to Tsering Lhagon, 10 years to Yeshe Tenzin and 7 years to Tragru Yeshe. Family and friends are concerned about Ngawang Gurmey health as both Tenzin Choewang and Yeshe Tenzin died, after being released in poor health due to maltreatment in prison. Last March tortured political prisoner, Goshul Lobsang died after he became severely ill in prison.

Golok, Amdo under tight restriction

Palden Gyatso, from Ragya Monastery, has been released after serving 6 years in prison on 21 March 2015.

Palden Gyatso.jpegPalden Gyatso

He was arrested for taking part in protests in 2009, sparked by the suicide of tortured political prisoner, Tashi Sangpo, a fellow monk from Ragya Monastery. Tashi Sangpo was arrested and accused of raising the banned Tibetan national flag and distributing leaflets in his monastery during the uprising protests in 2008. Thousands of monks and local Tibetans protested Tashi’s treatment. Nine monks, including Palden Gyatso, were arrested on allegations of being ringleaders of that protest. Local Tibetans have been warned not to celebrate his release. Many political prisoners have been greeted by huge crowds of Tibetan well-wishers on their release. Large numbers of security personnel have been deployed in the area and Tibetans are facing heavy restrictions. Monks from Ragya Monastery have not been allowed to visit Palden Gyatso. Tibetans have been warned not to send photos and videos abroad or they will face heavy punishment. China’s police have ordered Tibetans to register their phone numbers and IDs on "WeChat".

Take Action

Tibetans in Tibet are constantly under surveillance and any form of cultural assertion, even singing Tibetan songs, is seen by China as “illegal” and heavily punished. Read more about our Free Tibet’s Jailed Musicians campaign and sign our petition.