By Tenzin Dharpo
Jigme Guri in government hospital in Sangchu. Photo- TCHRD
DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 27: A former Tibetan political prisoner who has recently been released and detained an astonishing four times has been admitted to a local government hospital in Sangchu County, Gansu province in Eastern Tibet (Amdo).
According to rights group Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, Jigme Gyatso, also known as Jigme Guri, was admitted into the Sangchu County People’s hospital on 26 December. Not long after his release from prison where he served five years, Jigme was diagnosed with, “diabetes, hypertension, and other complications related to his heart, liver and eyes”.
A former monk, Jigme Guri was detained and subjected on four separate occasions to harsh torture techniques employed in Chinese prisons across occupied Tibetans, leading to his health complications. His last stint in the prison saw Jigme diagnosed with diabetes and taken to hospital for emergency treatment by the authorities, TCHRD mentioned.
The plight of the deteriorating health of Jigme Guri is made worse by the surveillance on him in his hometown of Sangchu by the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers. “He has not been allowed to resume his religious studies at Labrang Monastery or to wear his monastic robes. Prison authorities have not returned his personal belongings including his computer, documents, purse and permanent resident ID cards. Without the resident ID card and extreme restrictions placed on his movement, Jigme was unable to seek better treatment in private hospitals,” reported TCHRD in a detailed report.
Pema Choedon, research officer at TCHRD mentioned, “Often the local PSB authorities employ discretionary power to restrict the rights of an individual whose political rights are deprived due to ESS conviction. In Jigme Gyatso’s case, he was not allowed to join his monastery and resume his studies. Additionally his resident ID card was not returned making it impossible for him to get treatment in hospitals other than those owned by the government.”