By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, March 22: A Tibetan political was released after completing seven years’ sentence in a Chinese prison. Khomatsang Jigmey, 45, who hails from Jolep village in Ngaba was released from Mein-Yang prison in Sichuan Province on March 12.
He was arrested on February 7, 2009 for his role in the protests in Ngaba County against Chinese rule in 2008, when thousands of Tibetans took to the streets in several Tibetan areas. He was accused of passing on information to outside 'separatist forces' by the Ngaba County Intermediate court which sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment.
According to Voice of Tibet
, Jigme, a former monk of Ngaba Kirti monastery, was denied the right to visits by his family and friends. Moreover, at the time of his release his friends and family were not allowed to receive him at the jail. The local county police dropped him off at his hometown.
However, Tibetans including former political prisoner and writer Theurang and Jolep Dawa jubilantly welcomed him with Tibetan wellwishing scarves (khata).
Jigme had been previously arrested in 1992 and imprisoned for a year without any trial for pasting posters around the town with anti-government contents.
Kirti monastery, one of the largest monasteries in eastern Tibet with around 2500 monks, has often been the target of Chinese authorities with armed soldiers strictly controlling the movement of the monks over the years.
Several monks of the monastery had carried out self-immolation protests against Chinese rule and called for the return of the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Many monks from the monastery have disappeared in the past, while others have been sentenced to lengthy jail terms on charges of ‘subversion’.