A Tibetan monk has been ordered jailed for 10 years by a Chinese court for launching a solitary protest against Beijing’s rule, Tibetan sources said.
Lobsang Gendun, aged about 21, was sentenced last week after being held in a detention center in Chamdo (in Chinese, Changdu) prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region for more than a year, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Tuesday.
Gendun was prevented from meeting any of his family members after he revealed that he was tortured while in custody, the source said. It was not immediately clear where he would serve his sentence.
“On Sept. 12, Lobsang Gendun, a monk of the Drongsar monstery in Chamdo, called his relatives to say that he had been sentenced to ten years in prison by a court in Chamdo,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“However, he gave no information about the jail or detention center where he will be locked up to serve his sentence,” the source said.
Gendun’s elder brother went immediately to Chamdo to try to learn where his brother would be taken, “but I don’t know whether he was able to meet with him or not,” he said.
Gendun was taken into custody on July 1, 2013, after he disrupted official celebrations in Pashoe (Basu) county of Chinese Communist Party rule by shouting slogans calling for Tibetan independence, according to earlier reports by sources in the region and in exile.
“[He] raised slogans calling for the long life of [exiled spiritual leader] the Dalai Lama and for the complete independence of Tibet. But because of the [military] songs and the noise of the crowd it was difficult at first to hear what he was shouting,” one source said.
“He called out for about five minutes, and then was overpowered by the police and removed from the scene,” the source said.
On Jan. 28, Gendun’s parents were summoned by the Chamdo court and ordered to instruct their son to “confess to his crimes,” RFA’s source said on Tuesday.
“However, he refused to confess to having committed any crime, and instead asserted his innocence,” the source said.
“At the same time, he called on the Chinese authorities to confess their guilt in their own faulty policies in Tibet.”
Tortured in detention
Gendun also accused Pashoe county police of torturing him in detention, the source said, adding, “Since then, he has not been allowed to meet with any of his relatives.”
A Chinese campaign to monitor the political views of Tibetan villagers has been particularly intrusive in Chamdo prefecture, with Tibetan families forced to display photographs of Chinese national leaders and monasteries and private homes ordered to fly the Chinese national flag from their roofs, sources say.
Sporadic demonstrations challenging Chinese rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008.
Reported by Soepa Gyatso for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.