A file photo of Jigme Guri.
DHARAMSHALA, February 20: In a clear case of deep seated political influence over the judiciary in China, a Chinese court in Tibet issued an arrest warrant against a Tibetan who had already been lying in the jail for over four months.
Jigme Guri, also know as Labrang Jigme, an outspoken and respected monk from the Labrang monastery, was arrested on August 20, 2011 by around 40 police officers of the Public Security Bureau from a hotel in Tsoe (Chinese: Hezuo) city, Kanlho.
At the time of his arrest, police officers raided his room and reportedly seized around 30 portraits of the Dalai Lama, two computers and two laptops.
There were no information available on Jigme Guri until last month when his arrest warrant was formally issued.
According to the Dharamshala based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, the Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture issued the arrest warrant dated January 1, charging Jigme with engaging in activities aimed at “splitting” the country.
The warrant written in Chinese, further notes that Jigme is currently held in the Public Security Bureau detention Centre in Tsoe city.
“Under the Chinese law, once the procuratoracy organs approve a case and issues arrest warrant, the person accused will mostly likely be charged and sentenced,” TCHRD said.
Labrang Jigme was earlier detained in March 2008 following protests staged by fellow monks at Labrang Monastery. Jigme was severely tortured and beaten till he lost consciousness and had to be hospitalised at the end his detention that lasted for more than a month.
Upon his release, he recorded a powerful video statement about his arrest, torture and the wider crackdown in Tibet. The video was uploaded to You Tube and Jigme Guri. On returning to his monastery after hiding for several weeks, Jigme was again detained and held for six months without charge.
In his video Jigme states: “I, as a witness to truth, am telling through the media the story of Tibetans killed, who have suffered torture in prisons, and about the countless people who have been forced to flee to the mountains and who are too afraid to return to their own homes, so that the media can truthfully report on these situations."
Human Rights Watch, in its 2012 annual report had criticised China for maintaining highly repressive policies in Tibet and regularly condoning abuses of power in the name of “social stability.”
“Tibetans suspected of being critical of political, religious, cultural, or economic state policies are targeted on charges of ‘separatism,’” the report had said.