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Tibetan monk released following 6-year sentence

May 5, 2014

May 5, 2014 - Authorities in China’s Sichuan province have released a Tibetan monk after he served a six-year jail sentence in connection with widespread anti-Chinese protests which swept the region, according to Tibetan sources.

Lobsang Donyoe, 52, a monk from the Gonsar monastery in the Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture’s Dege county, was released earlier this week to warm greetings from the local community, a former political prisoner who served time with him told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“He was arrested in April 28, 2008 and released on April 27 after completing his sentence of six years in prison,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The monks of the Dzatoe [township] Gonsar monastery and lay people, as well as other monks and nuns in the area, and Tibetan former political prisoners have warmly received and greeted him with much joy as he arrived at his home.”

The source said that Donyoe had been arrested as part of a crackdown on monk-led protests against Chinese rule six years ago and that he had endured “severe torture” during his detention.

“Chinese police from Dege county arrested Lobsang Donyoe in Gana village when he was protesting against the Chinese government along with other monks of Gonsar monastery in 2008, as part of widespread protests throughout Tibet at the time,” the source said.

“He was detained in Dege county after his arrest and was severely tortured during his detention.”

‘Ringleader’

According to the source, police held Donyoe in detention for six months before bringing him to trial on separatist charges.

“On Oct. 28, 2008 the Kardze People’s Intermediate Court charged the then-46-year-old Lobsang Donyoe for promoting Tibetan independence through leaflets, for raising the banned Tibetan national flag and for being the ringleader of the protest by the monks of Gonsar monastery,” he said.

“He was sentenced to six years in prison and forced into hard labor at Deyon prison in Sichuan province.”

Sporadic demonstrations challenging Beijing’s rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since the widespread protestsin 2008.

A total of 131 Tibetans have also set themselves ablaze in self-immolation protests calling for Tibetan freedom, with another six setting fire to themselves in India and Nepal.

Reported by Norbu Damdul for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

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