Leading Tibetan Freed, Awaiting Trial

Chinese authorities have released on bail a leading Tibetan media personality. But Jamyang Kyi still expects to stand trial on unspecified charges related to massive anti-Chinese protests in March.

Jamyang Jamyang Kyi performes at a concert in Washington D.C in 2006.
RFA/Yehsi Tashi

Chinese authorities in Tibet have released on bail a leading Tibetan writer, television producer, and performer, Jamyang Kyi, who expects to stand trial on charges related to the March protests against Chinese rule in the region, Tibetan sources said.

Sources who asked not to be named said relatives had paid 5,000 yuan in bail and that she was awaiting trial on unspecified charges. Phone calls to Jamyang Kyi went unanswered and her family has urged friends to avoid phoning their home.

Jamyang Kyi was detained April 1 by plainclothes state security officers who escorted her from her office at state-owned Qinghai TV. "She never returned," a source in Siling [in Chinese, Xining] said. "People were speculating that she was detained in a guesthouse for interrogation."

Jamyang Kyi has travelled widely and performed and lectured in the United States.

"Security people went to Jamyang Kyi's house to search her computer, her mailing list, and contact numbers and took all these away," another source in Xining said.

Television producer, musician, activist, blogger

Jamyang Kyi, in her 40s, has worked as a producer in the Tibetan-language section of state-run Qinghai TV for two decades. She is well-known among Tibetans as an activist on women’s issues, and she toured the United States to sing and lecture in 2006.

Her blog—at www.tibetabc.cn/user1/jamyangkyi/index.html —is popular among young, computer-savvy Tibetans, although she stopped updating it several months before anti-Chinese protests erupted in Lhasa in mid-March and then spread to other regions.

Born in Mangra county [in Chinese, Guinan] in remote northwestern Qinghai province, Kyi is also a singer and songwriter and has released several well-received albums: "Prayer," a music CD, and two video CDs, "Distant Lover" and "Karma." Her music comprises elements of both modern pop and traditional folk music from all areas of Tibet.

Jamyang Kyi hasn’t been detained in the past, according to Tibet experts, and the specific reason for her arrest this month is unclear.

But in the wake of the largest and most violent anti-Chinese protests in Tibet in almost 50 years, authorities are questioning numerous Tibetans from the Kham, Amdo, and Lhasa regions who have travelled internationally in recent years, Tibetan sources say.

Original reporting by RFA’s Tibetan service. Tibetan service director: Jigme Ngapo. Written and produced in English by Sarah Jackson-Han.



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