By Tenzin Dharpo
Tsegon Gyal/TCHRD File
DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 30: A former Tibetan political prisoner who was held for over two weeks in Kangtsa County Detention Centre in Tsojang region in Qinghai Province, in eastern Tibetan region of Amdo has been charged with ‘inciting to split the country’. Tsegon Gyal was charged on December 24 of the alleged crime.
Rights group Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy which cited a source mentioned that Tsegon Gyal is on a silent protest which is essentially choosing to remain unresponsive to his captors and interrogators, the State Security Bureau Office in this case. “Tsegon Gyal knows that the interrogation process is simply a tool for the state security officers to extract forced confession and that no amount of honest response would help him prove his innocence. The investigation was a farce and the charge was imposed on him,” TCHRD’s source mentioned.
The Dharamshala based group said that the charge of “inciting to split the country’ which is levied on Gyal is commonly pinned upon, “Tibetan activists and critics of Chinese government” who are then “subjected to arrest, torture, surveillance and imprisonment on trumped-up charges of endangering state security, which refers a group of specific crimes under Articles 102–113 of the Chinese Criminal Law.”
Gyal’s prospect does not look good as he is on a silent protest which means he is also waiving off the right to seek legal protection and to hire a lawyer, TCHRD reported. If charged, he is likely to attract a sentence of 15 yrs in prison.
Tsegon Gyal has a decorated career being law enforcement professional in the County police as a trace evidence analyst and also as an award winning journalist for the Qinghai Tibetan News and Qinghai Legal Daily.
He was previously detained in May 1993 along with two others, Lukar Jam who stood in the 2016 Sikyong election and Namlo Yak Dhungser by the provincial state security officers for setting up an association by the name of ‘Association Of Domed Youth Committed To Sacrificing Lives’. The following year, Gyal was convicted for espionage and counterrevolutionary crimes and sentenced to 16 years and deprivation of political rights for four years. Lukar Jam was sentenced to 17 years and deprivation of political rights for five years and Namlo Yak Dhungser was sentenced to 12 years and deprivation of political rights for four years.