By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Feb.19: Tibetan writer and activist Druklo (pen name: Shokjang), known for his fearless expression of views critical of the Chinese government, was sentenced to three years in prison by the intermediate public court in Malho prefecture on Feb. 17, according to Gu Chu Sum Former Tibetan Political Prisoners’ Movement.
His sentencing comes almost a year after he was arrested on March 19, last year. Gu Chu Sum said two days ago, a group of almost 40 Tibetans including his family and friends visited officials in Rebkong who read out the charges on which Shokjang was sentenced to. Any trial or court room proceedings leading up to the sentencing did not take place, according to information received from inside Tibet.
The charges against Shokjang included instigating separatist riot in 2008, contacting with separatist groups in exile and writing a number of articles detrimental to social security on social networking.
The father of a four year old kid was very briefly allowed to meet his family after the verdict was read out. He reportedly shouted that he is going to appeal again. His family was given a legal form to sign, believed to be consent of the court’s decision and to be submitted within ten days. Previously his family was allowed to take food and clothing for him, but since the beginning of December 2015, that was disallowed.
Druklo had earlier spent a month under detention following his first arrest in April 2010. He was arrested along with Tashi Rabten (Theurang), another prominent writer, for allegedly spearheading protests by the students of National Minorities’ University of Lanzhou.
Tibetan writers including Tashi Rabten (Theurang) with whom Shokjang was first arrested in 2010 have appealed for immediate release of Shokjang. Theurang, in an article translated by High Peaks Pure Earth, writes about Shokjang, "He is someone who never deters from expressing his views, and whose courage and aspiration for freedom is unwavering. He devotes his time and intellect in the fight against darkness and oppression. When a mind or voice like his is stifled and silenced for a time or forever, it is the unpropitious cloud of darkness and oppression that ushers a reign of terror in the land."
Shokjang, considered as one of the new generation writers from inside Tibet, has three published books to his credit. His book ‘The Courage of Path’
is banned by China.