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A Tibetan writer-photographer sentenced

November 20, 2009

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD)
November 19, 2009

Kunga Tsayang, a Tibetan writer-photographer
arrested on 17 March 2009 has been sentenced last
week to five years in prison on charges of
disclosing state secrets, according to
information received by the Tibetan Centre for
Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD). He was
arrested on alleged charges of posting political
essays on Tibet on a website name as ?Jottings?
(Tib: Zin-dris) in Gansu Province.

According to source, in a closed door trial on 12
November 2009, Kunga Tsayang was sentenced to 5
years in prison by the Kanlho Intermediate
People?s Court in Gannan ?Tibetan Autonomous
Prefecture? (?TAP?) Gansu Province. An earlier
report by a Tibetan human rights watchdog had
cited a sentencing of Kunchok Tsephel, a Tibetan
official and founder of Tibetan literary website
Chomei (Tib: butter Lamp), to 15 year?s in jail
on charge of disclosing state secret by the same court on 12 November 2009.

Kunga Tsayang, a monk of Amdo Labrang Tashikyil
Monastery, who wrote under a pen name "sun of
snowland" (Tib: Gang-Nyi) was an amateur
photographer, a passionate writer, essayist,
chronicler of the new Tibetan generation. He
hailed from Chigdril County, Golog "Tibetan
Autonomous Prefecture" ("TAP"), Qinghai Province.

An avid traveler, Kunga had traveled widely in
Tibet and photographed the environmental
degradation taking place on the Tibetan plateau
and its impact on the people. His travelogues
dealt on the special characteristic features of
Tibetan topographical landscapes, culture,
customs, habits and religious heritage. Kunga
Tsayang had also worked at Nyenpo Yutsae Kyekham
environmental protection group. He is the author
of several brave and compelling essays on Tibet
including, "Who Is the Real Splittist?" "Who Is
the Real Disturber of Stability?" and "Who Is The Real Instigator of Protests?"

The Chinese authorities over the years have
targeted, detained and sentenced Tibetan writers,
bloggers and publishers who did not engage in
overt protest activity, but who sought to explore
and express Tibetan views on issues that affect
Tibetan people?s rights, culture, religion and Tibet?s fragile environment.

He was under the close watch of the Chinese
authorities in Labrang County, Gansu province
following major protests that gripped the region
last year. Unfortunately, on the fateful day of
17 March 2009, he was arrested during a midnight
raid at his living room. His family and close
associates had no idea where he was detained
since his arrest in March this year until he was
brought to the court hearing last week.

TCHRD expresses its serious concern over the
secretive and closed nature of trial under which
Kunga Tsayang and Kunchok Tsephel were tried and
sentenced. TCHRD urges the Chinese government to
honour the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people.

Tashi Choephel Jamatsang (Mr.)
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
Top Floor Narthang Building
Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamsala
H.P. INDIA 176215
Mobile- +91-9418122921
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