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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Free Tibetan Heroes: Cases of 5 political prisoners to be highlighted on Tibetan Uprising Day

March 02, 2016

Hashtag:  #FreeTibetanHeroes

Montreal, March 2, 2016 - There are approximately 2000 documented cases of political prisoners in Tibet. At least 60 have been detained in 2015 alone.[i]  This year, during the annual Tibet National Uprising commemoration on March 10, the Canada Tibet Committee (CTC) will highlight five representative cases.

The CTC demands the immediate and unconditional release of all Tibetan heroes including the five highlighted below.  We also urge China to honour its commitment to welcome international observers including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and UN Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.

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Five highlighted cases:

Druklo / Shokjang (M): Tibetan writer and blogger Druklo, also known by his pen-name Shokjang, was detained by Chinese authorities on 16 March 2015 by national security police officers in a hotel in Rebkong, Amdo, eastern Tibet (Chinese: Tongren County, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai province). On 17 February 2016 Shokjang was sentenced to 3 years by the Malho Prefecture “Middle Court”; no details of the charge against him have been released. Shokjang is a prominent Tibetan writer and blogger known for his critical and thought-provoking articles about the current situation in Tibet, including the resettlement of Tibetan nomads. Request: Details about the charges against Shokjang.


Gendhun choekyi Nyima (Panchen Lama) (m): On May 15, 1995, the Dalai Lama announced that 6 year old Gendhun Choekyi Nyima had been recognized as the 11th Panchen Lama.  The Government of China rejected the Dalai Lama statement as "illegal and invalid" and on May 17, 1995, authorities abducted the child and his family.  Neither the Panchen Lama nor his parents have been seen or heard from since.  No charges have been disclosed and no trial has been held.  On several occasions China has admitted holding the Panchen Lama including at the UN.  UN special procecdures have raised this case numerous times without response from China.  Traditionally, Panchen Lamas play a significant role in the succession process of Dalai Lamas. Request:  Immediate access for international observers.


Lhamo Kyab (F): A school teacher from Nagchu in Central Tibet, Lhamo Kyab was taken by Chinese intelligence bureau personnel sometime in 2008. Officials reportedly covered her head, took her to her residence in Nagchu, the prefectural capital, searched her home, then transferred her to a secret detention centre where she was interrogated about “alleged involvement in political activities.” In January 2010, a court sentenced Lhamo Kyab to 15 years in prison. No further information about the court, the criminal charge against her, or the location of the prison where she is serving her sentence is available.  Request: In which prison is she serving her sentence?


Khenpo Kartse (M): A highly respected Tibetan abbot and social worker, Khenpo Kartse has been in detention since December 2013.  He was reportedly sentenced to two and a half year in prison following a secret trial.  He is known to be suffering from serious medical health issues relating to his lungs and liver, for which he had sought regular medical attention prior to being detained. Recent reports state that he has been coughing up blood but appeals by his lawyers for treatment have been regularly rejected by authorities.  Request:  Immediate access by lawyers and approval of requests for medical treatment.


Yeshe Choedron (F): A 57 year old retired medical doctor, Yeshe Choedron was detained in March 2008 after protests broke out in Lhasa on 14 March. On 7 November 2008, the Lhasa People’s Intermediate Court sentenced her to 15 years’ imprisonment for allegedly providing “intelligence and information harmful to the security and interests of the state” to “the Dalai clique’s security department”. No more details are known. Sources report that she has not been able to see her children since her sentencing. Request: Permission for family visit and disclosure of charges.

 
 



[i] See Human Rights Situation in Tibet Annual Report 2015 (at page 97), Tibetan Centre for Human Rights & Democracy at http://www.tchrd.org/annual-report-2015/

 

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