Tibetan man dies of self-immolation in front of Chinese police station

Sangye Khar (Source: Tibet Times)

Sangye Khar (Source: Tibet Times)

A Tibetan man set himself alight to protest Chinese government this week at Amchok (Ch: Amuqu) Township in Sangchu ( Ch: Xiahe) County in Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

According to reports published in exile media, the self-immolation protest was staged by a Tibetan father of two, Sangye Khar, 34, at 9 am (local time) in front of the loca Public Security Bureau office at Amchok Township.  Sangye Khar chose to self-immolate on 16 December, coinciding with the death anniversary of Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.  [Read more…]

Extrajudicial killing, arbitrary detention and religious repression continue in restive Tibetan county

Senior Buddhist scholar Geshe Ngawang Jamyang was beaten to death in police custody less than a month after his arrest in December 2013 in Diru County.

Senior Buddhist scholar Geshe Ngawang Jamyang was beaten to death in police custody less than a month after his arrest in December 2013 in Diru County.

Latest information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) demonstrates escalating violence and crackdowns including extrajudicial killing and arbitrary detentions in Diru (Ch: Biru) County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), in the eastern Tibetan province of Kham.

A source with contacts in Tibet informed TCHRD that a popular and respected village headman became a victim of extrajudicial killings on 21 November on the orders of the local Communist Party authorities. Bachen Gyewa aka Ngawang Monlam, the headman of Ushung Village in Gyashoe Yangshok Township (also known as Sentsa Township) in Diru County was removed from his post, arrested and then killed on the orders of the secretary of the Diru County Party Committee.

The exact circumstances of his death remain unclear but it appears that Bachen Gyewa posed a formidable challenge to the Chinese government’s ongoing ‘stability maintenance’ measures that have been implemented since late 2011.[i] It did not help either that the late village headman was a former monk at the local Pekar Monastery which has witnessed sporadic yet intense demonstration against new religious measures implemented by the Chinese government. [Read more…]

‘EVERYDAY IS HUMAN RIGHTS DAY’: TCHRD observes World Human Rights Day

Cover of TCHRD's Special Report on Right to Edication in Tibet

Cover of TCHRD’s Special Report on Right to Education in Tibet

Sixty-six years ago, on 10 December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a fundamental part of the international human rights system and, along with the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, is part of the international bill of human rights. Since 1950, every people and countries across the world have commemorated 10 December as Human Rights Day.

‘Human Rights-365’ is the theme of Human Rights Day this year. ‘Human Rights-365’ recognizes that human rights must be protected and defended every day. [Read more…]

Former Tibetan social activist serving 15 years’ sentence dead after less than 6 years in prison

Former social activist Tenzin Choedak died while still serving his prison sentence in Lhasa.

Former social activist Tenzin Choedak died while still serving his prison sentence in Lhasa.

According to reliable information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), a Tibetan political prisoner serving a 15-year prison sentence died yesterday afternoon on 5 December. He was less than six years into his prison term in Chushur Prison near Lhasa city. His death confirms criticisms from human rights groups that torture and inhumane treatment is common in Chinese prisons in Tibet.

Tenzin Choedak, also known as Tenchoe, died just two days after he was released to his family by prison authorities. He died at Mentsekhang, the traditional Tibetan medical institute in Lhasa city, hours after his family admitted him there. Tenzin Choedak had previously worked for a European NGO affiliated to the Red Cross.

[Read more…]

Two Tibetan artists receive harsh sentences, severe fines for creation of Tibetan music

Singer Kelsang Yarphel sentenced to four years in prison

Singer Kelsang Yarphel sentenced to four years in prison

Two prominent members of the Tibetan folk music industry have been given harsh prison sentences and heavy fines for their involvement in the making of Tibetan folk music in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, according to sources in Tibet.

On 27 November, well-known folk singer and music producer Pema Rigzin and famed singer Kelsang Yarphel were sentenced together to lengthy prison sentences and given severe fines by the Intermediate People’s Court in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

Pema Rigzin, 44, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison and a severe fine of 50,000 yuan for composing, releasing, and distributing music with alleged political overtones. Rigzin was detained on 7 May 2013 in Chengdu city, and held incommunicado until the 27 November trial. Though family members were allowed to attend the trial, they were barred by authorities from hiring Rigzin a lawyer. [Read more…]

TCHRD and PEN Tibetan honor imprisoned Tibetan writers: Event graced by Kirti Rinpoche and Chang Ping

His Eminence Kirti Rinpoche and Chang Ping with the organisers.

His Eminence Kirti Rinpoche and Chang Ping with the organisers.

On 15 November 2014, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) and Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN centre (Tibetan PEN) organized an event to highlight the fate of Tibetan writers imprisoned by Chinese authorities on PEN International’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer.

15 November 2014 is the 33rd anniversary of the PEN International’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer. The 150 PEN Writers Associations throughout the world commemorate the day by organizing events, including seminars, to highlight the fate of imprisoned writers. PEN Writers Associations will officially send letters to the presidents and embassies of these countries, appealing for the immediate release of the imprisoned writers. [Read more…]

Tibetan activist-writer challenges China’s ‘rule of law’ rhetoric in new book

Tibetan writer and activist Lhaden. (File/TCHRD)

Tibetan writer and activist Lhaden. (File/TCHRD)

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) has recently obtained a book written by Lhaden, a Tibetan writer and activist living inside Tibet. This latest book, titled ‘Resistance Through Cooperation With Law’ (Tib: Tungol Trimlug’) is Lhaden’s second, published and now being translated into English by TCHRD.

TCHRD presents an excerpt from Lhaden’s latest book translated from its original Tibetan version. He writes under the pseudonym, ‘Di Lhaden’. In this excerpt, Di Lhaden writes about his motivation for writing the book, expresses his belief that Tibet’s non-violent struggle has the potential to achieve genuine peace and reconciliation between the Tibetan people and the Chinese government. Di Lhaden asks the China to acknowledge, rather than violently crush, the legitimate grievances and aspirations of the Tibetan people, which he believes are in accord with the laws and constitution of the People’s Republic of China. He believes that Tibet’s non-violent struggle is inspired by the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

This book represents one of the many voices of millions of Tibetans inside Tibet who live in a system that penalizes human rights activists as criminals and denies basic human rights and freedoms enshrined in the Chinese domestic law and international human rights law. Read in the context of China’s recent rhetoric on rule of law, Lhaden’s book presents a formidable challenge to Chinese claims of respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights according to ‘rule of law’. [Read more…]

Two young monks sentenced to prison for staging peaceful protests in Tibet

Lobsang Gyatso

Lobsang Gyatso

Two young Tibetan monks from Kirti Monastery were convicted and sentenced by the Intermediate People’s Court in Barkham (Ch: Ma’erkang) in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, for “protesting the Chinese nation”. Both monks had independently staged solo protests. [Read more…]

Tibetan monk sentenced to 12 years for ‘inciting separatism’

Tsangyang Gyatso

Tsangyang Gyatso

A senior Tibetan monk who was the chief chant master/presiding priest (Tib: umze) at his monastery has been given 12 years sentence in Sog (Ch: Suo) County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region.

Tsangyang Gyatso, the former umze of Drilda Monastery, located at Trido Township in Sog County, was sentenced early this month on charges that he “contacted outsiders” and “incited other monks to protest against the Chinese government”, according to information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

“We learned today [27 October] from our source that it’s been 26 days since Tsangyang Gyatso was sentenced, a source with contacts in Tibet told TCHRD. [Read more…]

Two Tibetan men released after serving prison for 2008 protests

Local Tibetans welcome Woeden in his hometown after his release.

Local Tibetans welcome Woeden in his hometown after his release.

Two Tibetan men, Woeden and Lobsang Gyatso, were released after serving prison for their participation in 2008 uprising in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, according to information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

In March 2008, a series of protests rocked many parts of the Tibetan plateau with a large chunk of protests concentrated in Ngaba area. Among them was A’khyam Township located in the lower part of Ngaba County (Tib: Ngamey), where local Tibetans staged a major protest on 22 March 2008.

Woeden and Lobsang Gyatso, both of whom belonged to A’khyam Township, took part in the protest and were detained the same day by local police. Both men were sentenced on 24 June 2008 by the Intermediate People’s Court in Barkham, capital of Ngaba Prefecture, and imprisoned at Mianyang Prison, located in Wujia Township in Mianyang Prefecture near Chengdu.  [Read more…]