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China sets Tibetan writer free, exiles fear poor health
Phayul[Wednesday, June 02, 2010 10:33]
By Kalsang Rinchen

Druklo (pen name - Shokjang)
Druklo (pen name - Shokjang)
Gangtok, June 2 - China has released from detention a Tibetan student of National Minorities’ University of Lanzhou on May 8, according to Shingsa Rinpoche, a Tibetan lama at Sera monastery in south India. However, he is said to be in a poor physical state after almost a month in detention.

Sources have told Shingsa Rinpoche that Druklo (pen name - Shokjang) had been subjected to extreme deprivation of sleep and long sessions of interrogation. “I heard Shokjang is currently very weak physically and does not anymore have his usual intellectual capacity to write,” said Shingsa Rinpoche.

During the interrogation sessions, the Chinese authorities forced him to accept that he had connections with the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in the Tibetan exile Tibetan Community accused of being a “terrorist” outfit by the Chinese government. He was also accused of having links with Shingsa Rinpoche who had participated in several political campaigns in exile and who runs a Tibetan language website called wokar.net that publishes articles written by Tibetan writers from inside Tibet. Shokjang had denied both the allegations, Shingsa Rinpoche said, adding, "my website publishes articles we receive from Tibetans inside Tibet and it is an entirely false allegation that Shokjang had any connection with me."

Druklo was arrested along with Tashi Rabten (pen name – Te’urang) on April 6, 2010.

On April 6, 2010, around 16 officials from the local Public Security Bureau arrived in the university hostel and ransacked students’ rooms. The officials confiscated cellular phones, laptop computers and books from the students. Shokjang co - edited with Tashi Rabten the banned literary magazine the Shar Dungri (Eastern Snow Mountain) on the 2008 protests in Tibet.

In the past, China released Tibetans from jail apparently after excessive torture and often in poor physical state due to fear of custodial death. Exile Tibetans fear that Shokjang has been subjected to immense torture during interrogation. "Though we welcome his release we are worried about his health. From what we have heard it seems he has been tortured so much that a severe damage has been caused to him physically or mentally," said Tenzin Choeying of the Students for Free Tibet, India.


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