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Tibetan writer Tagyal released from prison on bail

October 18, 2010

October 15, 2010

The well-known Tibetan writer Tagyal (pen name:
Shogdung) has been released from prison under a
form of probationary bail, apparently pending
trial, and is now at home according to a report by his lawyer


Tagyal was detained on April 23, 2010 from his
home in Xining following the publication of his now-banned book, 'The
Division of Heaven and Earth: On the Peaceful
Revolution of the Earth Rat Year.' The book is an indictment of Chinese
policies in Tibet and a discussion of events
since March, 2008, in which he described Tibet
becoming "a place of terror" and gives a detailed
analysis of the 2008 spring protests as a
re-awakening of Tibetan national consciousness
and solidarity. Tagyal's arrest was one of the
most significant in the context of a broadening
crackdown on Tibetan writers, artists and
educators since protests against the Chinese state began in March, 2008.

According to the Tibetan writer, Woeser, Tagyal's
lawyer Li Fangping confirmed that Tagyal was
released from custody yesterday (October 14) and
allowed to go home under qubao houshen (????)
terms. It is understood that this is pending
trial, although details are unclear. Qubao
houshen literally means “obtain a guarantor while
pending trial” and can be described as
non-custodial detention and as a form of
probation, since conditions may be imposed on the
movements and activities of the suspect, who can
subsequently be jailed for violating the
conditions. Typically, qubao houshen includes
restrictions on who the person meets, whom they
communicate with, and sometimes includes
subjective standards imposed by police, such as
people's 'attitude' towards their alleged crimes.

Tagyal’s new and influential book, ‘The Division
of Heaven and Earth’, is believed to be selling
widely underground. He was apparently held in
Xining No.1 Detention Center during his period of
imprisonment. In August, news emerged that his
trial on charges of “splittism” appeared to have
been delayed
Tagyal's detention was particularly significant
because he is a well-established editor and an
'official intellectual' whose views have been
seen by many Tibetans as close to the Party and the Chinese state.

Tibetan writer is signatory of protest letter
about political prisoners In a separate
development, the Tibetan writer Woeser and her
Chinese husband Wang Lixiong were among more than
100 signatories of a letter signed by writers,
activists, and lawyers and published yesterday
urging the government to release the Nobel Peace
Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and other political prisoners.

The letter, issued last night (October 14) comes
amid the detention and monitoring of dissidents in China following the
Nobel award to Liu Xiaobo, who is serving 11 years in prison.

The letter congratulates Liu Xiaobo on the award,
and states: "We call upon the authorities to release all political
prisoners and prisoners of conscience who are in
detention for reasons such as their speech, their political views, or
their religious beliefs. We ask that legal
procedures aimed at freeing Liu Xiaobo be
undertaken without delay, and that Liu and his
wife be permitted to travel to Oslo to accept the Nobel peace prize."

Press contact:
Kate Saunders
Director of Communications, International Campaign for Tibet
Tel: +44 (0) 7947 138612
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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