By Tenzin Dharpo
Tibet Times clipping of Gyaye's arrest/file
DHARAMSHALA, March 22: A former political prisoner has died due to injuries sustained while in detention in Chinese Prison. Gyaye Phuntsok succumbed to his illness at his home in Serchen County in Tsolo Autonomous Prefecture in Tibet, reported the Tibet Times.
He passed away around 1 am on March 21. He was 85 years old.
According to Yeshi Tenzin, a Dharamshala resident who knew Phuntsok, the former political prisoner was a true patriot who dedicated his life for the Tibetan struggle and perished due to ailments sustained during incarceration in Chinese prison.
Gyaye Phuntsok came to India in March 1992. He had an audience with the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama where he reportedly got his ordination vows. He was arrested in August 1998 and sentenced to two years in prison during which time he was subjected to harsh torture sessions leading to disability of his legs. He had been bed ridden since early 2012.
The deceased was born in 1931 to Gyaye family, a simple nomadic family from the Tsolo Autonomous Prefecture. According to the same source, he was traditionally educated in Ditsa Monastery. His commitment to his people was exemplary and practical, the source added. He had established a school for Tibetans where more than 60 students were taught Tibetan, Chinese and English.
Death from injuries sustained while in detention is a common cause of mortality among former political prisoners. It has been a common practice for Chinese authorities to release prisoners who have sustained chronic and terminal ailments to avoid official accountability.