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Tibetan writer "Shogdung" released on "bail pending trial"

October 18, 2010

Kalsang Rinchen
October 15, 2010

Dharamsala, Oct. 15 -– A Tibetan writer and
intellectual jailed in April on charges of
“instigating to split the motherland” –- a very
common allegation faced by Tibetans for
expression of anti government sentiments through
writings or protests – has been released on “bail
pending trial” yesterday, Beijing based Tibetan writer Woser said on her blog.

Tagyal who writes under penname “Shogdung” was
arrested on April 23 this year in Xining. Tagyal
was picked up from his workplace Qinghai
Nationalities Publishing House in Xining and
taken to his house which the police searched and confiscated 2 computers.

Talking to the Voice of Tibet radio over the
phone, Woser said Tagyal’s lawyer Li Fanping had
informed her of the bailout. “I was told by his
lawyer that he (Tagyal) is in good health with his family now,” Woser said.

The Beijing based Tibetan writer and blogger said
she does not know the exact reasons why Tagyal
was released on bail after 6 months but agreed
that the popularity of Tagyal’s case in the
international media might have been one of the factors.

Meanwhile, Jampal Monlam of the Tibetan Centre
for Human Rights and Democracy said the “bail
pending trial” does not give him immunity to
future arrest. Jampal told the VOT that the
longest period that “bail pending trial” can last is a year.

However, the exact period of Tagyal’s “bail
pending trial” is not known. Monlam said that
under the Chinese law the police can either
arrest him again or give him the document of
release at the end of his “bail pending trial”
depending on the findings of the investigation during the bail period.

Sources told phayul in April that Tagyal's
detention might be linked to an open letter of
condolence to the victims of Kyegudo Earthquake
that he signed along with other Tibetan
intellectuals in Xining. The letter openly
criticized the Chinese government’s handling of
the earthquake relief efforts. Other signatories
of this open letter include well-known Tibetan
writer and singer Jamyang Kyi and other members
of the group known as the “New School of Thought.”

Shogdung has authored several books including the
recent publication gnam sa go 'byed (Opening of
Earth and Sky) about the nationwide protests
against the Chinese government in 2008.

Three days after the earthquake in Kyegudo
(Yushu), Shogdung had wanted to travel to Yushu
(Kyegudo) to help in the rescue and relief works but was denied permission.

Until his arrest, he was helping the relief
efforts in Xining and offering comfort and solace
to survivors who had been moved to hospitals in Xining.
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