DHARAMSHALA, June 11: A Tibetan political prisoner has been released in poor health after serving his full five year prison term in eastern Tibet, during which he was subjected to brutal torture at the hands of Chinese authorities.
Tsewang Dakpa, a monk at the Jangang Monastery in Drango region of eastern Tibet was released on June 5.
According to Tibetan exile sources, Dakpa, who is in his late 20s, is in “poor health” and one of his hands is “severely injured.”
Drakpa was arrested on June 6, 2008, along with two other monks, Thupten Gyatso and Jangsem Nyima, belonging to different monasteries, in Drango for staging a peaceful protest in front of the regional Chinese government headquarters.
During the protest, the monks called for the "quick return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet" and "Freedom in Tibet." According to eyewitness accounts, the three monks were indiscriminately beaten with electric prod, kicked and punch by the Chinese security forces.
Dakpa in particular had sustained multiple and severe injuries from the beatings. All three were critically injured and later hospitalised.
In November of that year, a Chinese court in Kardze sentenced Tsewang Dakpa to a five-year prison term, Thupten Gyatso to a four-year term, and Jangsem Nyima to a three-year term. According to sources, Dakpa continued to suffer torture at the hands of Chinese prison guards during his prison term.
Tens of thousands of Tibetans rose up in widespread protests against China’s rule in spring of 2008 all over the Tibetan plateau. The monks’ protest in Drango came a few months after the pan-Tibet protests were brutally suppressed by Chinese authorities resulting in the death, incarceration, and disappearance of hundreds of Tibetans.
Tsewang Dakpa is from Jangtha region of Drango, Thupten Gyatso (age unknown) is from Tawu region, and Jangsem Nyima, 22, is from Dzatoe region of Jyekundo.