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Heavy sentences for Drepung Monks

October 13, 2010

October 7, 2010

Heavy sentences for Drepung Monks
TCHRD Press Release
7 October 2010, Dharamsala

Mr. Tenzin Norgay (English)
Mr. Jampel Monlam (Tibetan, Chinese)
Tel: +91 1892 223363, 229225, 225874

Heavy sentences for Drepung Monks

The Lhasa Intermediate People's Court has sentenced two Drepung monks
to heavy sentences in June 2010 for their activities in March 2008
according to confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for
Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD). The monks, Jampel Wangchuk and
Kunchok Nyima, were sentenced to life imprisonment and 20 years
prison term respectively.

On 10 March 2008, around 350 monks from Drepung Monastery started a
protest and went on towards Lhasa City. Police stopped them on their
way and barricaded them, due to which the monks went on to observe
hunger strike. Some of the monks were detained and others sent back
to the monastery. The police deported monks belonging Sichuan and
Qinghai Provinces to their area of origin.

On 11 April 2008, Jampel Wangchuk and Kunchok Nyima were arrested
from Drepung Monastery and since then their whereabouts were unknown
until recently. Around June 2010 the Lhasa Intermediate People's
Court sentenced Jampel Wangchuk to life sentence and Kunchok Nyima to
20 years in prison. Although their sentences were informed, however,
their whereabouts have not been disclosed till date.

Jampel Wangchuk, lay name Tsephel, is 51 years old and originates
from Tsotoed Township,  Phenpo Lhundup County. He became a monk in
1982 and mastered in scriptures. At the time of arrest, he was the
disciplinarian of the monastery.  Kunchok Nyima, 41 years old,
belongs to Zari Township, Dzoge County, Qinghai.

In spring 2008 monks in huge number were arrested from Drepung
monastery and out of them around 40 were known to have been given
various prison terms. The whereabouts of Ngawang Chonyi, Ngawang
Sertho and a cook nicknamed as Gyakpa (Tib translation: Fatso), etc
is still unknown. A monk, Gyalpo, died in prison due to torture in
August 2009.

Drepung Monastery is still under heavy vigilance by the Chinese
authorities. A 60-member work team led by high officials, deputy
level, from the government of "Tibet Autonomous Region" ("TAR"),
"TAR" National People's Congress and People's Political Consultative
Conference, conduct daily political and legal classes for the monks.
A team of People's Armed Police (PAP) has been stationed in the
monastery under the pretext of maintaining "firefighters".
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