Demand freedom for Sonam Lhatso

Write to the Governor of Sichuan province

Sonam Lhatso (索郎拉措, Suolang Lacuo) is a nun from Pangri Nunnery in Kardze County, Sichuan Province. She was arrested during a peaceful demonstration along with fifty other nuns from Pangri Nunnery. The demonstration was broken up by Chinese security forces, with several of the nuns being beaten and arrested. She is one of the few nuns still detained today and has received the longest sentence. Inquiries about her wellbeing from the Pangri Nunnery have been met with silence by authorities.

In the past Free Tibet has documented numerous cases of Tibetan political prisoners being subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment while in prison. Authorities often do not disclose where they are imprisoned and prisoners are frequently denied visits by family members and access to medical treatment.

The Chinese Constitution protects the right to freedom of speech and expression for all of its citizens.

You can help Sonam Lhatso by contacting the regional authorities to demand that that she is released.

Fill in the form at the bottom of the page and Free Tibet will send the message below on your behalf to the Governor of Sichuan Province. (Your email address will not be supplied with your message.) The message will be translated into Chinese.

Alternatively, you can use the postal addresses provided to send message in your own language to the authorities (please use the Chinese characters in the form below to identify Sonam Lhatso).

Dear Wei Hong

I am contacting you to raise the case of Sonam Lhatso (索郎拉措, Suolang Lacuo). Sonam Lhatso is a nun from Pangri Monastery in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Kardze County). She was arrested in May 2008 after participating in a peaceful demonstration by a group of nuns from Pangri Nunnery. During this demonstration, which came in response to a military crackdown and political re-education campaign in Kardze County, protesters allegedly called for the independence of Tibet and for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

Sonam Lhatso has committed no internationally-recognised crime. Her arrest, detention and conviction appear to be in response to her peacefully exercising her rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. As you know, Article 35 of the Chinese constitution guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of demonstration for all citizens.

I urge you to do everything within your power in your capacity of Governor of Sichuan Province to immediately and unconditionally release Sonam Lhatso.  So long as she remains in prison, I also call on you to guarantee that she is protected from torture and other ill-treatment, that she has access to a lawyer of their choice, and that she has access to family members and any medical treatment that she may require, as required under China’s Human Rights Action Plan and the Prison Law of the People’s Republic of China.

Yours sincerely

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