Tibetan Man Who Desecrated Chinese Flag Freed After Serving Jail Term

tibet-sonam-norgye.jpg Sonam Norgye in an undated photo.
Courtesy of an RFA listener

A Tibetan man jailed for three years for protesting Chinese rule has been freed after serving his term but must regularly report to police in his home county and seek permission to travel, sources said.

Sonam Norgye, aged about 30, was released  on June 22 from the Powo Tramo prison in Nyingtri (in Chinese, Linzhi) county in the Tibet Autonomous Region’s Kongpo (Linzhi) prefecture, a resident of the area told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Tuesday.

“He was greeted on his release by family members who took him back to Pashoe [Basu] county in Chamdo [Changdu] prefecture, but the local police summoned him to the county police station the next day,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The authorities took photographs of Norgye and prepared documents for a file,” he said, adding, “They also made a record of the number of his mobile phone.”

“They ordered him to report back to the authorities from time to time and to seek permission before he travels anywhere,” he said.

Brutally tortured

Norgye, a native of Pashoe county’s Golak village, was initially detained on June 22, 2011, on suspicion of having desecrated a Chinese flag and was taken to Powo Tramo, where he was held for four days and brutally tortured during interrogation, the source said.

“He was beaten so severely that blood and pus flowed from his ears,” the source said.

He was then handed over to authorities in Pashoe county, he said.

There, a court first ordered him held for six months in the local detention center and then sentenced him for hauling down and soiling with his feces a Chinese flag that had been raised by government workers in the area.

“He was accused of acting against the country and was sentenced to a term of a little over three years.”

Authorities then returned him to the larger prison at Powo Tramo to serve his term, he said.

Sporadic demonstrations challenging Chinese rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008, with 131 Tibetans to date setting themselves ablaze to oppose Beijing’s rule and call for the Dalai Lama’s return.

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


Add your comment by filling out the form below in plain text. Comments are approved by a moderator and can be edited in accordance with RFAs Terms of Use. Comments will not appear in real time. RFA is not responsible for the content of the postings. Please, be respectful of others' point of view and stick to the facts.