DHARAMSHALA, March 21: A Tibetan political prisoner has been released after serving a sentence of fifteen years' imprisonment in Sog County on Friday, said Ngawang Tharpa, an exile Tibetan with contacts in the region.
Ngawang Gyurmey, a monk of Sog Tsenden monastery in Sog was arrested on March 17, 2000, along with fellow monks Khedup, Yeshi Tenzin, Tsering Lhagon, Tenzin Choewang and a lay person Thagru Yeshi.
In 2000, Sog County People’s Intermediate court sentenced Tsering Lhagon and Ngawang Gyurmey to 15 years' imprisonment, Khedup to life imprisonment, Yeshi Tenzin to 10 years, Thagru Yeshi to 7 years in prison on charges of “disturbing the social stability”.
They were arrested for allegedly distributing and pasting leaflets that read “May His Holiness live long,” “Tibet is independent,” and “Chinese out of Tibet.”
Tharpa said Ngawang's family and relatives fear that his health condition might cause him to succumb to injuries sustained during prison torture. He added that Tenzin Choewang and Yeshi Tenzin had died soon after they were released from prison. The exact dates of their release is not known.
Ngawang Gyurmey had joined Sog Tsenden Monastery at the age of 20, and took care of monastery's estate and construction matters. He was sent to Drapchi, one of the most notorious prisons in Tibet, and later to Chushul prison.