A Tibetan monk jailed in 2008 for his role in protests challenging Beijing’s rule in a Tibetan-populated region of Sichuan is in failing health and has been refused medical care, leading to fears he may die, sources said.
Palden Trinlay, a monk of Kardze monastery in Sichuan’s Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) county, “is still detained in Mianyang prison in Sichuan without proper medical treatment,” a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service this week.
If Trinlay is not transferred quickly from prison to a hospital, “his survival is doubtful,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
On May 18, 2008, five monks including Palden Trinlay demonstrated in Kardze town, the source said, naming the other protesters as Jampa Dorje, Kunga Trinlay, Jamyang Tsering, and Tsewang Khedrup.
No information has been made available concerning when Trinlay was initially detained, the nature of the charges brought against him, or the length of the prison term handed to him on his conviction.
Though family members had received no updates on his health, the relative of another prisoner at Mianyang came to know of his condition, the source said.
“It was learned that about two months back, Palden Trinlay complained of a sudden stomach pain and diarrhea, and his condition became very serious.”
Though prison officials gave Trinlay some medicine, much of what was administered was found to be “old or expired,” and when prison-mates asked that Trinlay be sent to a hospital, the authorities refused, he said.
“If he is not given proper medical attention in a good hospital, his survival is doubtful,” he said.
'Tortured every day'
Meanwhile, a former Tibetan prisoner—speaking to RFA in an anonymous interview—described his experiences in Chinese custody in Qinghai province before "recently" being released, saying he was “tortured every day.”
“After being detained, I was taken to a place about 300 miles from my hometown where I was locked up and regularly questioned and beaten,” he said.
“I was tortured every day, and for about two months was hardly allowed to sleep.”
“Then I was taken to another location, where I was placed on a chair and hurt with an iron prod. This was so painful that I fainted and fell several times.”
After this, he said, he was moved “from jail to jail” and was finally released after being warned not to speak to outside media contacts.
“But I replied that my hopes and wishes are the same as those of all of the Tibetans who have set themselves on fire in protest,” he said.
“We want [exiled spiritual leader] the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet, we want freedom, and we want all Tibetans—both inside Tibet and in exile—to reunite.”
Sporadic demonstrations challenging Beijing’s rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008.
A total of 129 Tibetans have also set themselves ablaze in self-immolation protests calling for Tibetan freedom, with another six setting fire to themselves in India and Nepal.
Reported by Norbu Damdul and Kunsang Tenzin for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.