Two Tibetan prisoners released

Tsedup Kyi
Tsedup Kyi
4th May 2017

Tsedup Kyi and Jamphel returned home to grand welcomes following their releases

Free Tibet has learned of two prisoner releases that took place in Amdo, eastern Tibet, recently.

On 5 April, Tsedup Kyi, a 32-year-old, was released after serving four years in prison.

She was arrested following the self-immolation of Lobsang Gedun in December 2012. Lobsang Gedun, a 29-year-old monk from Penak Monastery, carried out his self-immolation on 3 December in protest against Chinese rule.

In order to prevent Lobsang Gedun's body from falling into Chinese security custody, Tsedup Kyi held onto the body while continuing to call for freedom in Tibet and for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

Tsedup Kyi was sentenced to four years in prison on 5 April, 2013. She served her sentence in Mianyang Prison in Chengdu, but due to health problems, spent around a year of her sentence in hospital.

Tsedup Kyi

Prior to her release, Tsedup Kyi was told that she had to pay back the 130,000 Yuan (£14,5000/ US$18,800) that was spent on her medical treatment. It has not been confirmed whether or not she has paid this sum.

Following her release, Tsedup Kyi returned to her hometown in Chojema Township, Ngaba County. Despite her night-time arrival, at around 11pm, she was welcomed home by around 200 local Tibetans. Tsedup Kyi is a mother of a 14-year-old boy, Patsel Kyab.

Early release

Another Tibetan named Jamphel was released on 1 May after serving nine years of a 13-year sentence. Jamphel was arrested on charges of spearheading protests at the local Chinese authorities office in Machu County, Kanlho, on 14 March 2008. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Although the reason for his early release is not known, it is speculated that ill health may have been one factor. Jamphel is said to be in poor health, with a problem with his leg.

Like Tsedup Kyi, Jamphel received a grand welcome upon returning home, part of which is captured in the video below.

The releases of Tsedup Kyi and Jamphel were unrelated but follow a number of releases earlier this year. Many of those released recently organised or took part in the protests across Tibet in 2008.

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