Two Tibetans receive harsh prison sentences for online anti-fur campaign


Two Tibetans in Tibet Autonomous Region were sentenced to five and seven years in prison for pictures they shared on WeChat

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) translated a copy (below) of the verdict of Jamyang Wangtso, a 32-year old monk and Namgyal Wangchuk, a 43-year old monk, both from Wuran Village. The verdict was translated from a Chinese government website and can be accessed here.

Due to the difficulty of getting information out of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), not much is known about the circumstance of Jamyang Wangtso and Namgyal Wangchuk’s case beyond what is in the verdict. They received long prison sentences for adding text to a photo that they shared with 15 people on WeChat, a popular instant messaging service. The photo was of two people wearing fur chupas. The additional text was designed to shame the people in the photos.

The number of Tibetans wearing animal fur chupas has greatly decreased since 2006 when Tibetans burned fur clothing to protect the endangered wildlife in Tibet after the Dalai Lama issued a public call against using animal fur and skin. The pictures were shared with other WeChat groups and sparked the “2. 02 Incident.” There is no record in either English or Chinese of what happened during the “2.02 Incident.” [Read more…]

Tibetan writer Kunga Tsayang released from prison after 5 years

Kunga Tsayang acknowledges local Tibetans gathered to receive him in his hometown in Chikdril County.

Kunga Tsayang acknowledges local Tibetans gathered to receive him in his hometown in Chikdril County.

Writer, essayist, blogger, chronicler, environmentalist and amateur photographer Kunga Tsayang has been released after serving almost five years’ of imprisonment for allegedly writing political essays criticizing Chinese policies in Tibet.

According to reliable information received by TCHRD, Kunga Tsayang, who is also a monk from Labrang Tashikyil Monastery and wrote under a pen name “Sun of Snowland” (Tibetan: Gang Nyi) was released at around 8.30 am on 12 January 2014 from a prison in Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province.

A source with contacts in Tibet told TCHRD that after release, Kunga Tsayang went to Labrang Monastery and from there on 14 January 2014, he returned to his hometown in Chikdril County in Golok (Ch: Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, where a grand ceremony was held to celebrate his release. Local Tibetans, both young and old, came in droves bearing ceremonial scarves, as they burned juniper leaves and scattered ‘windhorse prayer flags’ (Tib: lungta) in the air to celebrate his release. [Read more…]

Kirti monk detained for second time in two years

Chinese authorities have detained a monk from Kirti Monastery on the eve of the 54th anniversary of Tibetan uprising day in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.

According to reliable information received by TCHRD, Tsepak, 29, was detained at around midnight on 9 March from his aunt’s home in the eastern part of Kirti Monastery in Ngaba County. Tsepak had been staying there for some time taking care of his sick aunt. [Read more…]

Kirti Monastery monk dies of self-immolation protest in Ngaba

According to confirmed information received by TCHRD, on 2 February, at around 6 am, a monk named Lobsang Namgyal, 37, from Kirti Monastery in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County committed self-immolation near the Public Security Bureau office in Dzoege (Ch: Ru’ergai) County in Ngaba Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

The monk, who died on the spot, was seen with running towards the police station, his body in flames, shouting slogans such as ‘May the Dalai Lama live for tens of thousands of years,’ sources told TCHRD.

Lobsang Namgyal 01

Lobsang Namgyal in an undated photograph

Later, the Chinese police found a bag on the site of self-immolation, in which they found the monk’s identity card and a letter, which confirmed the identity of the monk as Lobsang Namgyal hailing from Kirti Monastery.  [Read more…]

Senior monk sentenced to 7 years for sharing information

Yonten Gyatso

Yonten Gyatso

A senior Tibetan monk who went missing for eight months since his arbitrary arrest last October has been sentenced to seven years in prison for ‘sharing pictures of nun Tenzin Wangmo and information related to her self-immolation protest with outsider’ by an Intermediate People’s Court in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.

The sentence was passed on 18 June 2012 by an Intermediate People’s Court in Ngaba Prefecture.
The charges leveled against Yonten Gyatso, 37, a monk who had held various official posts at his Khashi Monastery in Ngaba County also included “sharing information since 2008 about political events in Tibet by attempting to make telephone calls to human rights mechanisms of the UN”, a source tells TCHRD. [Read more…]

Yet Another Self-Immolation in Kardze

Sources to Tibet report that yet another monk self-immolated in Kandze County, Sichuan Province today (25 October 2011). At around 9.30 a.m Tibet local time, the fifth incident of self-immolation this month, monk Dawa Tsering, poured petrol on his body and set himself afire during the annual religious Cham dance ceremony in Kandze.

While on fire, monk Dawa Tsering raised slogans demanding the return of H.H the Dalai Lama, equality, and freedom in Tibet. Other monks who were gathered there for the religious ceremony tried to extinguish the flames and then immediately took the injured monk to Kandze People’s Hospital in the monastery car. [Read more…]

Tibetan monk sentenced to 11 yrs term in immolation case

A Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Prefecture Court today sentenced Tsundue (Ch: Drungdru), a Tibetan monk, to 11 years imprisonment term charging him of ‘intentional homicide’ for hiding Phuntsog and preventing him from getting medical treatment after he set himself on fire, State news agency Xinhua reported on 29 August 2011.

On 28 August the same State news agency (Xinhua) said that three Tibetan monks charged with ‘intentional homicide’ for the immolation of Phuntsog will be tried on 29th and 30th of August. The other two monks are to be sentenced tomorrow. [Read more…]

Kirti monk sentenced to 3 yrs, hundreds of security officials deployed in Kirti

According to confirmed information by TCHRD, Dhonyoe Dorjee, a monk at Kirti Monastery was sentenced to three years’ prison term. At present, he is in Mianyang Prison near Chengdu in Sichuan Province. There is no information on the details of his trial, the court that sentenced him, and the date and time of the court hearing. The charges under which he has been sentenced also remain unknown.

Since his arrest on 8 April 2011 from his monastery, Dhonyoe Dorjee was held incommunicado until his trial. [Read more…]

Monk Dorgay of Nagchu Shabten Monastery arrested

On 6 July 2011, Dorgay, a monk of Shabten Monastery in Dickyi Township of Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) County in Tibet Autonomous Region was arrested and taken away by Chinese police.

At around 5 am on 6 July, Dorgay, 22, drove his car with 1500-2000 khataks (ceremonial scarves). Praying for the long life of the Dalai Lama, he tied the khataks on trees, electric poles and everywhere in Nagchu region as a celebration of the 76th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Soon after returning to his monastery, Chinese police arrived at the monastery and inquired whether he was the one who put khataks all around Nagchu to which he confessed. Hence, he was arrested and taken away by Chinese police. His whereabouts remain unknown to date. His family members and fellow monks at Shabten Monastery tried to locate him and find out about his conditions but without any success. [Read more…]

Chinese police beat Tibetan monk to death

A Tibetan monk was beaten to death by Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers in Drango (Ch: Luhuo) County in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (TAP), Sichuan Province.

According to a reliable information received by TCHRD, Phuntsok, 27, a monk from Drango Monastery, who hailed from Zongpa Village, in Drango County was brutally beaten to death for his peacefully protesting against China’s repressive policies in Tibet.

On 25 March 2009, Phuntsok pasted leaflets on the walls of a branch office of the Drango PSB headquarters on Shara Thang-do Bridge and on roadside trees. His campaign was connected with the last years’ unprecedented unrest in Tibet, particularly in Drango County, when hundreds of monks who took part in a peaceful demonstration against the Chinese government on 25 March 2008. The protest was subsequently quelled down with force and resulted in arrests, torture and detention of hundreds of monks. [Read more…]