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Imprisoned Tibetan lama found in serious ill-health PDF Print E-mail
[28 August 2014] A highly respected senior Tibetan lama, who has been in custody since 2008, has been found in serious ill-health. Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche is said to be in a deteriorating condition due to the harsh conditions in which he is being kept in prison and the torture he has suffered. In other news from Tibet, a monk has been sentenced to nine years on unknown charges and a blogger has been detained for criticising China's welfare policies in Tibet.

Page Index
1. Imprisoned Tibetan lama found in serious ill-health
2. Monk sentenced to nine years in prison and tortured
3. Blogger detained after expressing concern over welfare rights

Imprisoned Tibetan lama found in serious ill-health
Pangri-na Rinpoche[28 March 2014] Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche (also known as Pangri-na Rinpoche or Phurbu Rinpoche) is serving a sentence of eight years and six months at Mianyang Prison, located near Chengdu in Sichuan province. He is said to be in seriously ill-health and has suffered torture during his detention.

According to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), a visitor to Mianyang prison spotted Rinpoche whilst visiting another prisoner. The visitor told TCHRD, At first I couldnt recognise him as he had become so weak, almost emaciated. It looks like he is not being treated well in prison.

Local Tibetans have also expressed concern over Rinpoche's health, which is said to be deteriorating and due to the harsh conditions in which he is kept.

Pangri-na RinpocheRinpoche, now 57, was detained in May 2008 following a peaceful protest march by nuns from Pangri-na nunnery, of which Rinpoche is the head. The nunnery is located in Sungo township, Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) county, Kardze prefecture, Kham (now incorporated in China's Sichuan province). The nuns were protesting against the implementation of a 'patriotic re-education' campaign at the nunnery by the Chinese authorities. No reason was given at the time for Rinpoche's arrest.

Rinpoche's trial was held in April 2009 but the sentencing was deferred for unknown reasons. In December 2009 it emerged that Rinpoche had been sentenced to eight years and six months for the illegal possession of weapons. The Chinese lawyers that defended Rinpoche said he had been framed and the charges lack(ed) factual clarity and sufficient evidence. Rinpoche was reported to have been tortured in order to extract a confession.

Further reading: TCHRD (27 Aug 2014) I ICT (27 Apr 2009) I TCHRD (23 Apr 2009)

Tibet Society will report this case (and those below) to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and call on British officials to raise the cases with the Chinese government.

Monk sentenced to nine years in prison and tortured
Geshe Tsultrim Nyendrak[28 August 2014] News has emerged of the sentencing of a Tibetan monk who had been detained in December 2012 and had not been heard of since. Geshe Tsultrim Nyendrak was sentenced to nine years imprisonment at a secret trial on unknown charges.

Nyendrak, a 40-year old monk and teacher, was detained in Lhasa in December 2012. It has been suggested he was arrested on suspicion of involvement in separatist activities, however the exact reason for his arrest and eventual charges are not known. Nyendrak's family were told at the end of July of the sentencing and that he is serving his term in Chushul prison near Lhasa. The exact date of the trial, carried out by the Intermediate People's Court in Lhasa, is not known.

According to a source quoted by Radio Free Asia, Nyendrak has been subjected to torture whilst in prison. The source also said Nyendrak's "health condition is very poor, and authorities have not acknowledged requests by his family that he be given medical care. There are fears he is being denied medical treatment.

Geshe Tsultrim Nyendrak is from Rabten monastery in Driru (Chinese: Biru) county, Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) prefecture, Kham (now incorporated into China's Tibet Autonomous Region). Driru is located approximately 300km north-east of Lhasa.

Rabten monastery was one of three monasteries in Driru forced to close by the Chinese authorities in December 2013 following protests in the region. The protests began after Chinese authorities demanded residents to fly Chinese flags from their homes.

Further reading: RFA I TPI

Blogger detained after expressing concern over welfare rights
Dawa Tsomo[28 August 2014] On 23 August, the Chinese authorities in Qinghai province detained a Tibetan woman for blogging about Tibetans' living conditions. The current whereabouts and condition of Dawa Tsomo is not known.

Dawa Tsomo, aged about 20 years old, was detained in Dzatoe (Ch: Zaduo), Jyekundo (Yushu) prefecture, Kham (now part of China's Qinghai province). According to a source quoted by Radio Free Asia, she was detained for violating Chinas internet rules and regulations. The same source said, She had blogged and disseminated articles with political overtones online.

Tsomo is understood to have blogged about the living conditions of Tibetans living in Jyekundo, which was devastated by an earthquake on 14 April 2010. Tsomo is said to have specifically noted the Chinese authorities disregard for the welfare of Tibetan residents.

A source quoted by Tibet Post International (TPI) said Tsomo had been accused of disseminating information via her phone on the WeChat microblog messaging service. The shared information allegedly included details of the situation in Dzatoe and topics relating to "Tibet freedom... and the suffering of Tibet under Chinese rule".

Further reading: RFA I TPI

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