By Tenzin Dharpo
Image procured of late Palden Shonu shortly after his death. photo- TCHRD
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 2: A former Tibetan political prisoner has reportedly passed away after prolonged illness due to injuries sustained in Chinese prison, exile sources say.
Shonu Palden, 41, died on the way to the hospital September 30, after prolonged treatment for torture-related injuries in Machu County, Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo, Dharamshala based Tibetan Center for Human Rights said on Monday.
TCHRD has demanded Chinese authorities to promptly initiate a thorough, impartial and transparent investigation into the untimely death of Mr Palden due to torture and denial of proper medical care. “A government’s obligation to investigate deaths is required to fulfill the right to a remedy for family members if the death was caused deliberately or by negligence.”
The Tibetan man was released ahead of his scheduled release in July 2013, “with multiple health complications” including “blocked arteries, weak eyesight, and breathing and hearing problems”.
The rights group says it is standard practice for critically ill prisoners who are nearing death to be released ahead of time. “This is typical of Chinese government practice of releasing prisoners early so that prison officials can avoid responsibility for killing prisoners,” TCHRD earlier said.
Palden who was sentenced to two years and nine months is said to have not received proper medical care in prison for the injuries he suffered during the incommunicado detention. He was subsequently released after serving just over a year in prison to avoid yet another case of “death in detention”.
Shonu Palden was arrested on 18 June 2012 from a tea stall in Bhelpan Village in Machu County for spearheading a protest during the 2008 Pan-Tibet uprising.
He is survived by his wife and three children: son Tenzin Kunkyab, 8, and daughters Namgyal Dolma, 10, and Tashi Dolma, 5. Two major surgeries and prolonged treatment expenses for Palden have put financial strain while one of his daughters was earlier denied admission to a school for her father’s political past.