Photograph of Lhundrub Drakpa (date unknown)

Release Lhundrub Drakpa

Popular musician Lhundrub Drakpa was arrested, beaten and sentenced to six years in prison. All for singing a song

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“On the heads of a sincere and truthful people,
A black hat has been forcefully put on”

These words open the song Black Hat, released in March 2019 by Lhundrub Drakpa, a popular Tibetan musician.

Lhundrub Drakpa grew up in Driru County in Nagchu, central Tibet. He saw first hand the effects of China’s occupation and turned his criticisms into song.

Black Hat’s lyrics are a condemnation of the Chinese government’s brutal occupation of Tibet. In the song, lhundrub Drakpa describes how Tibetans have “suffered as if hell is on earth”, how they are “gagged and their language is “hemmed in by a thousand insidious means”, and the “sorrow of the people of the Land of Snow”.

The title of his song refers to a Tibetan proverb: ‘don’t put a black hat on an innocent person’ – don’t condemn a person with false accusations. 

Lhundrub Drakpa singing Black Hat

Lhundrub Drakpa singing Black Hat

Two months later, a black hat was put on Lhundrub Drakpa, when he was arrested without having committed any crime. It was an inevitable response from authorities desperate to silence both Lhundrub Drakpa and his music.

He was held for over a year in detention and beaten before being sentenced to six years in prison. He has not been heard from since, making him yet another one of Tibet’s disappeared political prisoners.


This Day of the Disappeared, 30 August, we reaffirm our commitment to seeing Lhundrub Drakpa released and stand in solidarity with him and Tibet's other political prisoners. Use our simple tool to contact the TAR Regional Government, urging them to release Lhundrub Drakpa immediately.

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We are Free Tibet, and we stand with Tibetans around the world. For their homeland, for their future and against China’s brutal occupation.