Released Tibetan ‘in Poor Health’

A Tibetan monk is dangerously ill following his release from jail.
2010-10-29
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A horseman shoots an arrow as part of a performance at the Lithang Horse Festival, Aug. 1, 2006.
A horseman shoots an arrow as part of a performance at the Lithang Horse Festival, Aug. 1, 2006.
AFP

A Tibetan monk detained by Chinese authorities for a three-year period was tortured in jail and is in poor health, according to Tibetan sources.

Jamyang Tenzin was detained in October 2007 for resisting a political re-education campaign at his monastery following protests at a horse-racing festival in Lithang, in the Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in western China’s Sichuan province.

He was scheduled for an early release in August but was released only on Oct. 8, after refusing to “sign documents” or to accept Chinese conditions for his release, said Lobsang Dawa Rinpoche, a Tibetan monk living in India and citing contacts in Tibet.

“The Tibetan public planned to host a grand reception for him, but the Chinese authorities forbade any kind of gathering and threatened to send Jamyang Tenzin back to prison if any reception were held,” Lobsang Dawa said.

When Jamyang Tenzin’s family escorted him from prison following his release, they discovered he suffers from kidney and stomach ailments, Lobsang Dawa added. “They took him to a hospital in [the provincial capital] Chengdu, but his health is not good,” he said.

Beatings in jail

Adruk Tseten, a Tibetan living in India and citing his own sources in Tibet, confirmed the account.

“Due to severe torture and beatings while in jail, [Jamyang Tenzin’s] health is very poor,” he said. “He has developed kidney problems and suffers from other internal damage.”

“Jamyang Tenzin used to be very expressive before going to jail,” Adruk Tseten said.  “But after his release on Oct. 8, he avoids meeting or talking to people, and holds himself aloof from others.”

“His family took him to a hospital in Chengdu twice for treatment, but now he is in the local hospital in Lithang.”

Lithang is the site of a traditional horse-racing festival that was closed following a week-long standoff between local Tibetans and police there in August 2007, and has been banned ever since.

At the 2007 festival, a Tibetan nomad, Ronggyal Adrak, grabbed a microphone from a Chinese official and made a speech in support of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

He was immediately taken into custody and was later sentenced to an eight-year prison term for seeking to “split the country and subvert state power.”

Reported by Rigdhen Dolma for RFA’s Tibetan service. Translations by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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