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Three monks jailed for raising Tibetan flag PDF Print E-mail
[18 September 2013] Three monks from Wonpo monastery in eastern Tibet have been sentenced by a Chinese court for up to four years in prison for their involvement in protests in 2012. The protests involved pulling down a Chinese flag and replacing it with the banned Tibetan flag.

Click here to TAKE ACTION

Sonam Choedar
(pictured below left) and Sonam Gonpo (middle), both 22, were sentenced on 11 September to four years imprisonment each. Two days earlier 42 year-old monk Choedar (right) was given a one year sentence. All three monks were sentenced by a Chinese court in Sershul
(Chinese: Shiqu) county, Kardze (Ganzi) prefecture, Kham (now incorporated in China's Sichuan province). Wonpo monastery is located in Dzachukha region of Kardze prefecture.

Sonam ChoedarSonam GonpoChoedar

Though the exact charges are not known, the three monks are believed to part of a group arrested during a series of raids on Wonpo monastery in October 2012. All three had been held incommunicado since their detention.

According to a source qouted by Radio Free Asia, the monks were detained for their alleged involvement in hauling down the Chinese flag and hoisting the Tibetan flag twice at a school in Dzachu Wonpo village in April and September 2012.

Details of the protest in April (reported as February by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD)) are not clear. However, the later protest is known to have taken place on 7 September 2012 at a school in Dzachu Wonpo village, where a Chinese flag was removed and replaced with a Tibetan flag. Handwritten leaflets calling for Tibets freedom were also scattered in the vicinity.

The other members of the group detained in October 2012 are understood to have been released. However, according to TCHRD, two monks, Kyapey and Lobsang Mithrug, have been deprived of their political rights for three years and their families have had to provide the authorities with guarantees that they would not engage in "political activities".

Further reading: RFA I TCHRD I Tibet Society (8 Nov 2012)

Take Action
Write to Mr Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese Ambassador to the UK (or the Ambassador in your country):

► Urge the Chinese government to release Sonam Choedar, Sonam Gonpo and Choedar immediately, who are understood to have been imprisoned simply for flying the Tibetan flag as part of a peaceful protest.

► N
ote that the freedom of expression is guaranteed under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Ask that the charges against all three are clarified and that assurances are given that they will not be mistreated whilst in detention and that they will be allowed visits from their family.

In the UK write to:
Name: Ambassador Liu Xiaoming

Address: Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China
49-51 Portland Place
London W1B 1JL
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Note: The Embassy occasionally disables this email address (so your email is returned). If that is the case please try This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it and/or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .
If these fail please write a letter.

Outside the UK:
Check the Chinese government's webpage listing embassies for contact details of your nearest ambassador and embassy.

If you receive a reply please send a copy to Tibet Society; this helps us to monitor the situation.

Tibet Society, the worlds first Tibet support group, was founded in 1959. Funded by its members, it has been working for over 50 years to seek justice for Tibet through parliamentary lobbying, campaigns and actions. Help keep Tibet alive by joining Tibet Society today. (Annual membership 24; Overseas 36; Life 500).

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