Choedar, 47, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment, photo/TCHRD
DHARAMSHALA, September 16: A Chinese court has sentenced three Tibetan monks of Wonpo Monastery up to four years in prison in Wonpo region of Dzachukha in eastern Tibet.
According to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, the sentencing of the monks came less than a year since their arrests last year. No information about them was available until the day of the sentencing.
Sonam Choedar was sentenced to four years in prison, photo/TCHRD
Choedar, 47; was arrested along with two other monks, Kyapey, 27; and Lobsang Mithrug, 25; in October, 2012 while Sonam Gonpo, 22; and Sonam Choedar, 22; were arrested in December 2012. Kyapey and Lobsang Mithrug were later released after their family signed guarantee letters for them.
Sonam Gonpo was sentenced to four years in jail, photo/TCHRD
The court on September 9 sentenced Choedar to one year imprisonment and announced four years’ prison for Sonam Gonpo and Sonam Choedar on September 11. Though the actual charges against the three are not known, it is believed that the three were sentenced for their alleged connection with a Tibetan flag-raising incident that was reported from the region in September last year.
On September 7, 2012, Tibetans in Wonpo had pulled down the Chinese national flag and replaced it with the Tibetan national flag at a school in Wonpo. Leaflets carrying slogans ‘Freedom for Tibet,’ written in red ink were also reportedly found in the school premises. Over 30 Tibetans were arrested following this incident but were released shortly after.
Choedar is currently serving his prison term at Ra-nga Prison in Minyak region in Kardze.