A Tibetan man living in western China’s Sichuan province has been freed from prison before serving his full term for distributing flyers challenging Beijing’s rule and calling for the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, sources said.
Tsering Kyipo, a resident of Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture’s Dege county, was released on Feb. 23, apparently for good behavior while in detention, after serving three years of a four-year sentence, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
“He was warmly welcomed by family members and supporters on his return to his hometown of Dege Dzakok, where local Tibetans openly displayed photos of the Dalai Lama,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“It is said that he had earned ‘good credit’ while in detention, which won his early release,” the source said.
Kyipo, now aged about 27, was taken into custody in 2012 after evading police who had sought him and two companions for distributing flyers a year earlier calling for Tibetan freedom, a second source said, speaking to RFA from exile and citing sources in Dege.
“They had written their own names on the leaflets, which they scattered while riding through the town on motorcycles,” the source said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.
Kyipo’s companions--Lobsang Dondrub and Jampa Ngodrub--escaped capture, with Dondrub fleeing to India in 2013 and Ngodrub now missing, he said.
“But in 2012, police from Dege county found [Kyipo] in the hills and took him away, later sentencing him to four years in jail and putting him into prison in Minyak,” he said.
Sporadic demonstrations challenging Chinese rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008, with 136 Tibetans to date setting themselves ablaze to oppose Beijing’s rule and call for the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Reported by Lhuboom and Sonam Wangdue for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.