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Tibetan singer sentenced to over a year's imprisonment for "subversive songs"

January 31, 2010

Phayul
January 30, 2010

Dharamsala, January 30 -- A Chinese court in
Sogpo Mongol Autonomous County, Malho Tibet
Autonomous Prefecture, has sentenced a Tibetan
singer to one year and seven months’ jail term
for producing a music album with "subversive songs."

Tashi Dondrup was arrested on Dec 3 last year
from a restaurant in Xining, where he had been in
hiding after authorities banned his album titled
"Torture without Trace" in November last year. He
had been held at a detention centre in Sog County.

Chinese authorities in central Henan province,
where the singer is a member of the Henan
Mongolian Autonomous Region Arts Troupe, had issued the warrant for his arrest.

The music album contained 13 songs expressing
nostalgia for the exiled Tibetan leader His
Holiness the Dalai Lama and remembering the
Chinese government’s crackdown on Tibetans across Tibet in March 2008.

Tashi was previously detained in September 2008,
according to sources of the International
Campaign for Tibet, and accused by authorities of
including 'counter-revolutionary content' in a
song entitled 'The Year of 1959,' the year of the
Lhasa Uprising and the Dalai Lama's flight into
exile. He was detained and beaten for over seven days by police in Xining.

The 5,000 CDs sold out within a month of its
October release in Amdo region of eastern Tibet,
where Tashi is a popular local star.

The musician, the son of Tibetan farmers who was
married two months ago, then fled into hiding before being arrested.

Artists and writers have been at increased risk
in the ongoing crackdown that has followed the
Tibetan protests that began on March 10, 2008 in
Lhasa and spread across the Tibetan plateau, a
report by ICT said in December last year.
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