Relatives and fellow villagers welcome Sonam Choegyal (with scarves over his neck) on his arrival after release, Kardze, Sept. 9, 2013, photo/RFA listener
DHARAMSALA, September 12: Chinese government authorities in Tibet’s Kardze County have released a Tibetan prisoner in poor health last Thursday, RFA reported.
Sonam Choegyal, in his early twenties, had served two and a half year of a three-year term for allegedly carrying out protest against Chinese government, the American government funded Tibetan radio service cited sources as saying.
A Tibetan monk living in India told the RFA that Sonam was a resident of Kaka village in the Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
“His health is reported to be poor, but he suffered no major injuries during his time in jail,” the RFA quoted the monk as saying, “I have no idea why he was released early.”
The report further said that the Chinese authorities did not allow Tibetans from Sonam’s village to welcome him in a convoy of vehicles but “relatives and community members received him warmly with traditional Tibetan well-wishing scarves on Sept. 9.”
Sonam Choegyal’s father is Tamdrin Wangyal, and his mother is called Lhaga.
Sonam Choegyal and his friend, Tenzin Nyima, had carried out a protest demonstration in Kardze town in 2011 challenging the Chinese rule. He was immediately arrested and later sentenced to a three-years’ imprisonment by the Kardze prefectural court. He was imprisoned at Miyang prison near Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province.
His friend Tenzin Nyima was released about two months earlier. A Nun also released
Meanwhile, another Tibetan has also been released in "poor health" by Chinese authorities in the same County last month. Shedrub Lhamo, a 40-year-old nun of Ganden Choeling nunnery in Kardze had served a one-year prison sentence for protesting China’s rule. Sources told RFA that she had been beaten and tortured in custody.
During her protest, Shedrub Lhamo shouted slogans calling for the return of the Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama and freedom in Tibet, RFA cited the source.
“She also threw leaflets in the air, though witnesses could not see what was written on them,” he was quoted as saying.
The deepening crisis inside Tibet has witnessed large scale anti-China protests that saw self immolations by 121 Tibetans since 2009, demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.