By Kalsang Rinchen
Dharamsala, March 26 - A Chinese court in Sichuan Province has sentenced a Tibetan monk, whose whereabouts were unknown since July 2008, to seven years in prison and deprivation of political rights for a year, according to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).
In January, 2010, the Kardze Intermediate People’s Court passed the verdict on Ngagchung ( who goes by only one name), of Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in Sertha County, Kardze “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture” (‘TAP’).
Khenpo seeks blessings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama during a visit to India, file
The TCHRD doubts the validity of the verdict and called for international intervention in the case. The charges against him and the exact date of the trial are not yet known. The Centre said his family was not informed of his trial which is a violation of minimal international judicial standards.
Ngagchung was arrested on 8 July 2008 along with two other monks; Taphun and Gudrak of the same monastery on "suspicion" of leaking information to outside "separatist forces" during the Tibet protests in 2008. Taphun and Gudrak who are brothers were released after interrogation but Ngagchung was held in detention at Chengdu PSB Detention Centre.
Larung Gar Buddhist institute.
His family members were barred from visiting him. He is said to be in a prison at a place called Ya’An, on the suburbs of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan.
Ngagchung is a nephew of the late Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, a highly –respected Tibetan Buddhist teacher who founded the Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in Sertha County (Ch: Seda), Kardze ‘TAP’. Ngagchung studied Buddhist philosophy at the Institute for more than 20 years.
Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in Sertha County was targeted by Chinese government between 1999 and 2000 by sending ‘work team’ officials to conduct the ‘Patriotic re-education’ campaign at the institute. On 18 April 2001, the Chinese authorities restricted the enrollment of students including many from China.
According to the TCHRD, around 7000 students were forced to quit the institute whose founder Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, died
at a hospital in Chengdu under mysterious circumstances on 7 January 2004. He was 70. The authorities also demolished several residential quarters of the institute.