By Tenzin Monlam
Shonu Palden. Photo-TCHRD
DHARAMSHALA, December 28: The Chinese authorities have put a bedridden former Tibetan political prisoner under house arrest after interrogating him for hours for allegedly sending information outside Tibet, reported the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).
Shonu Palden, 40, was reportedly interrogated over a report published by the Dharamshala-based Tibetan rights organization on December 18 that detailed the hardships he and his family faced following his imprisonment and the denial of admission in a school to his 8-year-old daughter.
“The [interrogation] officers insisted that there was a ‘political objective’ behind this sharing of information with outsiders,” a reliable source informed TCHRD on the condition of anonymity.
The father of three, who is kept under house arrest by local Chinese authorities in Machu County in Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu Province, was ‘severely reprimanded’ for allegedly sharing ‘unnecessary details’ about his situation with outsiders.
According to the TCHRD report, he was summoned to the Bhelpan Township Police Station at 10 a.m. (local time), where he was interrogated by the police and a group of County and Prefecture Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers till 7 p.m. (local time) yesterday.
As a part of further investigation, the PSB confiscated his phone and told him to stay at home until further notice.
While urging the Chinese authorities to stop the retaliatory actions against Shonu and to provide him a proper medical care, TCHRD said, “It is unacceptable that a child is subjected to punishment for the political activities of her father. Chinese authorities can no longer disregard and discredit the genuine and ever-increasing grievances of Tibetans by clubbing them under the deceptive label of so-called ‘national security crimes’.
The 40-year-old former political prisoner was released on July 24, 2013 before the completion of his prison term, to avoid death-in-detention and has been bed ridden ever since due to severe torture and shoddy detention conditions in Chinese prison.
He was arrested on June 18, 2012 and sentenced to two years and nine months in jail for spearheading the protests of March 2008 in Machu County.