Kirti Monk is Freed in Poor Health After Four Years in Prison

2016-11-14
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Lobsang Sangye is shown following his release from prison on Nov. 12, 2016.
Lobsang Sangye is shown following his release from prison on Nov. 12, 2016.
Photo sent by an RFA listener

A Tibetan monk jailed for over four years for activities opposing Chinese rule has been freed in poor health after suffering torture in prison, sources say.

Lobsang Sangye, formerly enrolled in Sichuan’s restive Kirti monastery, was released on Nov. 12 from Mianyang prison near Sichuan's provincial capital Chengdu and taken back to his family home in Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) county, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“His relatives were informed of the release, but when his brother and other relatives went to receive him, they were not allowed to accompany him home,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Instead, Chinese security personnel returned him next day to his home in Ngaba’s Choejema village.”

“While detained, he was subjected to torture, as a result of which he now suffers from memory loss and poor health,” the source said.

Detained several times before 2012, Sangye was last taken into custody for selling photos of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and short videos of the Dalai Lama’s teachings, RFA’s source said, adding, “He was also accused of involvement in a self-immolation protest against Chinese policy in Tibet.”

Sangye’s detention in August 2012 came a day after the self-immolation deaths of Kirti monk Lobsang Kalsang, 18, and an ex-monk named Damchoe, 17, at a site near the eastern gate of Kirti monastery, sources told RFA in earlier reports.

Kirti monastery has been the scene of repeated self-immolations and other protests by monks, former monks, and nuns opposed to Chinese rule in Tibetan areas.

Authorities raided the institution in 2011, taking away hundreds of monks and sending them for “political re-education,” while local Tibetans who sought to protect the monks were beaten and detained, sources said in earlier reports.

Reported by Kunsang Tenzin for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.


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