By Tenzin Sangmo
Choekyi, released from prison after completing his sentence
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 19: A 42-year-old Tibetan monk from Phugugon monastery in Serta County, imprisoned for four years under the charge of carrying out 'splittist' activities, has been released from the prison late Friday night.
On June 19, 2015, Choekyi, was arrested for making monk’s robe on His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday and for putting up photos deemed political on WeChat. The local court imprisoned him for four years in Mi-Nyag Ra-Nga-Kha prison in Kham under the charge of carrying out 'splittist' activities.
At the time of his arrest, his sister Kyizom and her son Dakpa were also arrested, detained and interrogated for 15 days.
At the completion of the prison term yesterday, he was sent to the Serta county police station where he was kept till late at night before the family could receive him.
Until October 2017, he was allowed one visit from his family per month. Since then, for more than two years till the time of his release, his family was banned from visiting him as restrictions were intensified.
Despite the release, there is no clear information about his wellbeing. According to other prisoners' account, he was in poor health before imprisonment and was put under extra surveillance and restrictions while in prison. The amount of forced labour he had to undergo had led to further deterioration of his health, sources indicated.