Wonpo Monastery: China sentences three monks up to 4 years in prison

Sonam Gonpo

Sonam Gonpo, 22 , sentenced to four years in prison on unknown charges.

Three Tibetan monks detained last year from Wonpo Monastery have been sentenced to prison, with two monks receiving four years each and another receiving one year in prison. Wonpo Monastery is located in Wonpo Village in Dzamey Township of Dzachuka area in Sershul (Ch: Shiqu) County, Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.

According to information received by TCHRD, three monks from Wonpo Monastery: Choedar, Sonam Gonpo and Sonam Choedar were sentenced to prison this month. They were detained incommunicado since their arrests in late 2012.

On 9 September 2013, Choedar, 47, was sentenced to one year in prison, less than a year after his detention in mid-October 2012. Choedar was detained along with two other monks:  Kyapey, 27, and Lobsang Mithrug, 25, both of whom have been released, but they have been deprived of political rights for three years. Their release was granted after family and relatives of both monks provided guarantee letters pledging not to indulge in ‘political activities’. [Read more...]

Tibetan writer and four others sentenced to more than 5 years in prison

Tibetan writer, teacher and father of two, Gangkye Drupa Kyab

Tibetan writer, teacher and father of two, Gangkye Drupa Kyab

A popular Tibetan writer and four others have been sentenced to prison early this month by Chinese authorities in Nyagchu (Ch: Yajiang) County in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.

On 1 August 2013, the County People’s Court in Nyagchu County sentenced the writer, Gangkye Drupa Kyab, to five years and six months in prison for alleged political activities. Four other Tibetan men were also sentenced. Samdup received five years’ prison term while Sheygyal and Yudrang each were sentenced to two years. Drensel received three years prison sentence, according to information obtained by Tibet Express, an exile Tibetan newspaper.

All of them were sentenced for allegedly being members of a secret political group called “Marshog Ngogol Tsogpa” (Anti-Communist Party Association). Both Samdup, 32, and Yudrang were detained on 13 June 2012.  [Read more...]

Senior monk among the latest identified in Tawu shootings

Warning: This post contains graphic images. 

An undated photograph of Chanzoe Tsewang Choephel, a senior monk and staff at Nyatso Monastery.

An undated photograph of Tsewang Choephel, a senior monk and staff at Nyatso Monastery.

Tsewang Choephel, a senior monk and administrative staff (Tib: chanzoe) at Nyatso Monastery, is the latest Tibetan to be identified among those injured in Chinese People’s Armed Police (PAP) firing on 6 July.

According to information and photographs received by TCHRD, senior monk Tsewang Choephel was shot at multiple times on his hands and legs. His condition is critical. With Tsewang Choephel’s identification, the number of the injured in PAP firing has increased to ten, including a layman Ugyen Tashi who was shot with eight bullets.

The beatings, shootings and teargassing in Tawu led to the violent disruption of an otherwise peaceful religious ceremony observed to celebrate the 78th birthday of the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The scale and extent of the Tawu shootings appear to overshadow another brutal shootings in January 2012 in Drango (Ch: Luhuo) County. [Read more...]

Environmental activist suffers broken ribs after savage beatings in Tawu

Chinese armed police arrive to surround the venue of birthday celebration.

Chinese armed police arrive to surround the venue of the Dalai Lama’s birthday celebration on 6 July in Tawu County.

A Tibetan environmental activist has his ribs broken after enduring savage beatings at the hands of China’s People’s Armed Police forces on 6 July when local Tibetans in Tawu (Ch: Daofu/Dawu) County gathered to celebrate His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 78th birthday in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.

According to information received by TCHRD, Gyaltsen, a Tibetan layman and environmental activist from Dunkye camp, was among a group of Tibetans who were savagely beaten at a bridge near Machen Pomra mountain. Gyaltsen suffered two broken ribs and many others in the group also sustained serious injuries. After the beatings, armed police detained 14 known Tibetans including Gyaltsen but they were released on the night of 7 July following protests from local Tibetans who had gathered at the courtyard of Nyatso Monastery to protest the detention. [Read more...]

Nun dies of self-immolation, family placed under house arrest

An undated photograph of nun Wangchen Dolma

An undated photograph of nun Wangchen Dolma

According to sources inside Tibet, on 11 June, Wangchen Dolma, a nun from Tawu (Ch: Daofu) County in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture self-immolated in protest against Chinese rule.

Wangchen Dolma, 31, committed her self-immolation near Nyatso Monastery Tawu County in the Tibetan province of Kham. She hailed from Dragthog Village in Tawu County and her father’s name is Tenzin and mother’s Youdon.

The Chinese police immediately arrived at the scene of the self-immolation and took her to a local hospital in Dartsedo (Ch: Kangding) in Kardze Prefecture.

Three days later on 14 June around 8 am, she succumbed to her injuries and died.

Wangchen Dolma became the 119th Tibetan and the third from Tawu region to self-immolate in protest of China’s repressive policies.

Sources said the Chinese police refused to give Wangchen Dolma’s body to her family and cremated it. [Read more...]

Tibetan farmer escapes imminent arrest for sharing religious texts

Ugyen Lhundup, 57, was a farmer at Thangka Village in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Township in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. In 1999, he came to India and lived for some time to study Buddhism. In 2001, after attending the Kalachakra teachings at Bodh Gaya in the north Indian state of Bihar, he returned to Tibet taking along some CDs and books containing religious teachings, which he shared with others on requests from friends and relatives. He also made free copies of the CDs and distributed them among his social circle. It was then that he became a prime target for supervision and surveillance. On 21 October 2012, to escape imminent arrest, he left his house and farm in the care of his neighbor, and secretly left Tibet and reached India on 15 December 2012. Ugyen Lhundup shares his ordeal:

“In 2002, the head of County Public Security Bureau officer, Loga, summoned me at his office. At the PSB office, the officer confiscated my passport and threatened me with five to six months’ detention, if I did not stop questioning the confiscation of my passport. I was let go but without my passport.  [Read more...]

Tragic death of Tibetan nun after self-Immolation

Today, at around 12.40 pm, a nun in Tawu (Ch: Daofu) County, Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (TAP), set herself afire in protest against the Chinese government amid the continued repression of religious freedom and human rights in Tibet.

Palden Choetso, 35 years old, shouted slogans such as “Freedom in Tibet,” “Long live H.H the Dalai Lama,” and “Let the Dalai Lama return to Tibet” before she self-immolated near Namgyal Stupa, a huge stupa in Tawu County.

Latest reports state that nun Choetso died from severe burn injuries. Her body is being kept at Tawu Nyatso Monastery at this moment. [Read more...]

Tibetan man sentenced to 3 yrs in Kardze

On around 20 August 2011, Samphel Dhondup of Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) County was sentenced to three years imprisonment by a Kandze court, according to information received by TCHRD.

On 10 July, Samphel along with Lobsang Phuntsok and Lobsang Lhundup were arrested at around 4 o’clock in the evening (Tibet local time) after they raised slogans and distributed pamphlets saying “Freedom for Tibet”, “Long Live H.H the Dalai Lama”, “Return of the Dalai Lama” and “ May the Dalai Lama and all Tibetans unite soon”. It was reported earlier that all three youths were arrested and beaten severely by the Kandze Public Security Bureau (PSB) who arrived immediately to the spot.   [Read more...]

Tibetan monk self-immolates to protest Chinese rule

On 15 August 2011, at around 12.30 pm (local time), 29 yrs old monk Tsewang Norbu of Nyitso Monastery in Tawu (Ch: Daofu) County in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) self-immolated to protest against Chinese rule in Tibet and ill treatment of the local Tibetans by the Chinese authorities. For ten minutes, Tsewang Norbu raised slogans of ‘Freedom in Tibet’ and the ‘Return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet’ while scattering leaflets with similar messages at Chume Bridge in the centre of Tawu, before burning himself with petrol.

Since 6 July, there have been severe restrictions and strict vigilance of the area, after local Tibetans defied government orders joined the celebration of the Dalai Lama’s 76th birthday which was headed by nuns of Gaden Jangchup Choeling Nunnery. Chinese authorities have cut down water and electricity supply to Gaden Choeling Nunnery and Nyitso Monastery since the celebration last month. [Read more...]

Nun mentally unstable after torture in detention

Nun Sonam Choedon

Nun Sonam Choedon

A Tibetan nun jailed in May 2008 had become “mentally unsound” after being reportedly tortured in prison and was handed over to her family in September 2008, according to reliable information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

On 14 May 2008, the Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSP) and People’s Armed Police(PAP) arrested Sonam Choedon, 36, a nun of Puruna Nunnery in Lhoba Township, Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) County, Kardze “Tibet Autonomous Prefecture”, Sichuan Province.

Sources told TCHRD that Sonam Choedon suffered severe head injury after being hit on her head several times with rifle butt during her detention. Her head injury seems to have rendered her mentally unstable and she is said to be crying constantly at her home and requires 24 hours care. [Read more...]