Tibetan Shopkeeper Freed After Serving 5 Years For Dalai Lama Photo

tibet-flag.jpg The flag with a color photo of the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan figures that landed shopkeeper Sonam Dhargye in jail at a religious festival in February 2015. He was released April 4, 2020 after serving his full five-year term.
Courtesy of an RFA listener.

A Tibetan shopkeeper jailed for carrying a flag with a color photo of the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan figures at a festival in 2015 was released and returned to his family in Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) at the weekend after serving his full five-year term, sources familiar with the case told RFA.

Sonam Dhargye was released on April 4, and returned to his home in Sowa Village in Ngaba county.

“Outwardly he looks to be fine. But his family have decided to take him to the doctors for a thorough physical checkup,” said the source

Dhargye was detained in Ngaba in Aprl 2015, two months after he attended the Monlam festival at Ngatoe Gongma Monastery, where he carried a blue religious flag with a world peace symbol and a 8x10-inch color photo of the Dalai Lama, and two other prominent Tibetan exile figures, the source said.

“At the end of April that year, he went to Ngaba county to buy merchandise for his shop. It was there the Chinese police took him into custody at the market in Ngaba county and sentenced him for five years,” said the source.

It is not known if Sonam Dhargye had any legal representation when he was tried and sentenced.

Reported by Palden Gyal for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul.


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