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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

China Sentences Tibetan Abbot to 2 Years' Imprisonment

April 4, 2012

Khenpo Gyewala, a highly- revered abbot and respected scholar at Gyegyel Zogchen Monastery, has resurfaced after spending 20 days of incommunicado detention in police custody.

Khenpo went 'missing' on 8 March 2012 in Zatoe (Chinese: Zaduo) county in Yulshul (Chinese: Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

Sources tell TCHRD a relative of Khenpo was called on 28 March 2012 to Zatoe county Public Security Bureau (PSB) office. The relative, whose identity could not be established immediately, was allowed to speak on phone with Khenpo Gyewala for three minutes.

Before talking on phone to Khenpo, the relative was warned by officers not to share information about Khenpo's sister who died on 15 March after falling unconscious in the county PSB office. Sources identified the deceased sister as Boyang (aged 41).

Boyang's death appears to be linked directly to the emotional shock she suffered after she failed a number of times to obtain any information from the PSB office regarding her brother's whereabouts.

Sources say during the three-minute phone call, Khenpo told his relative to look after Monsel School, the school he founded to counter growing illiteracy among local Tibetans. Khenpo also said he underwent 'enormous hardships' during his detention but after the sentencing, he did not face any special problems. But Khenpo could not name the place where he is imprisoned although sources suspect the prison is located far away from Tibetan areas.

TCHRD earlier reported the 'disappearance' of 13 Tibetans along with Khenpo Gyewala. Sources now report that the 13 Tibetans were released on 25 March 2012. 

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