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Self-immolation survivor released after five years in prison
[Friday, May 12, 2017 17:30]
By Tenzin Monlam

Losang Gyatso, who self-immolated shouting slogans of protest against the Chinese government in Ngaba County on February 13, 2012. file photo
Losang Gyatso, who self-immolated shouting slogans of protest against the Chinese government in Ngaba County on February 13, 2012. file photo
DHARAMSHALA, May 12: A Tibetan who survived self-immolation bid has been released after serving out his five-year term in prison following his protest against the Chinese rule in Tibet’s Ngaba County in the traditional Amdo province.

Lobsang Gyatso, now 24-year-old was released from prison on May 10 and has reached his hometown around midnight, a source told Radio Free Asia. However, his current physical condition after his release is still unclear.

The monk belonging to Kirti Monastery was 19-year-old when he self-immolated in protest against the Chinese government on February 13, 2012 on the main street of Ngaba town.

According to some eyewitnesses, he shouted slogans of protest against the Chinese government. The special police forces arrived at the scene and doused the fire. He was beaten as they took him away to an undisclosed location.

The source also said, “He was subjected to extreme torture and harassment during the five years and three months he was held in custody.”

At the scene of his self-immolation five years ago, two unidentified Tibetan youth were severely beaten by Chinese security personnel. One of them managed to escape with the help of onlookers and the other one was seen bleeding profusely from the head and arm.

The restive Ngaba region has seen many self-immolation and solo protests against Chinese rule, especially by monks of Kirti Monastery, which has been at the centre of the ongoing wave of fiery protests by its monks who have resorted to self-immolations and solo protests.

Similarly, another Kirti monk named Lobsang Kunchok was released on March 28 after spending over five years in prison.

In the last three months, there have been three self-immolations, two in Nyagrong County. Consequently, security measures in the region have been tightened with people requiring a special permit for travel from outside the region.

The authorities have imposed a clampdown on Internet and other means of communication in the region and have also warned of serious consequences of 15 years’ imprisonment if caught sharing any material related to the self-immolation with outside sources.

Since 2009, 149 Tibetans in Tibet have self-immolated against the Chinese rule in Tibet.
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