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Tibetan writer-photographer sentenced to 5 years' imprisonment
Phayul[Thursday, November 19, 2009 16:30]
Dharamsala, November 19 - China has sentenced a Tibetan writer and photographer to five years in prison for “disclosing state secrets”, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy based here said today.

The sentence was passed in a closed door trial on November 12 by the Kanlho Intermediate People’s Court in Gannan “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture” (‘TAP’) Gansu Province, the Tibetan NGO monitoring human rights in Tibet said citing a source.

Kunga Tsayang, a monk of Amdo Labrang Tashikyil Monastery, was arrested on 17 March 2009 for charges of “posting political essays on Tibet”.

Kunga , who wrote under pen name "sun of snowland" (Tib: Gang-Nyi) was an amateur photographer, a passionate writer, essayist, chronicler of the new Tibetan generation, said TCHRD. He is a native of Chigdril County, Golog "Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture" ("TAP"), Qinghai Province.

Kunga had traveled widely in Tibet and documented the environmental degradation on the Tibetan plateau with his camera. He also worked for Nyenpo Yutsae Kyekham environmental protection group. He has authored 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?"

Kunga was under the close watch of the Chinese authorities in Labrang County, Gansu province, following major protests that gripped the region last year, said TCHRD. His family and friends had no idea about his whereabouts until his trial last week.

TCHRD said it was seriously concerned about the secretive and closed nature of trials of Tibetan political prisoners like Kunga Tsayang and Kunchok Tsephel who were sentenced days ahead of the US President Barack Obama’s visit to China.

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