Dolma Kyab in an udated photo
DHARAMSHALA, December 5: A Tibetan writer serving a ten and half year term has been awarded the ‘Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write Award 2012’ by the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, an official affiliate of International PEN, the global association of writers dedicated to freedom of expression and the defense of writers suffering governmental repression.
Dolma Kyab and WU Yilong were honoured last month on the occasion of PEN International’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer; an annual, international day intended to recognise and support writers who resist repression of the basic human right to freedom of expression and who stand up to attacks made against their right to impart information.
Dolma Kyab, 36, a.k.a Lobsang Kelsang Gyatso (pen name) was arrested on March 9, 2005 in Tibet’s capital Lhasa where he was teaching History at a Middle School.
A passionate writer, he maintained a commentary manuscript written in Chinese titled “Himalaya on Stir,” which was a compilation of 57 chapters written on various topics about democracy, sovereignty of Tibet, Tibet under communism, colonialism, religion and belief etc. He also wrote on the geographical aspects of Tibet touching on sensitive topics about the location and number of
Chinese military camps in Chinese occupied Tibet etc.
He was sentenced to ten and half years in prison and is currently imprisoned at Chushul (Ch: Qushui) Prison in central Tibet.
Dolma Kyab was born in 1976 in Ari Village, Chilen (Ch: Qilian)County, Tsochang, eastern Tibet.
After completing his schooling in 1995, he joined a Teachers Training Centre and served as a teacher in a Middle School in Chilen County. He later went to a University in Beijing to continue his studies. In 2003, he came to India to learn English and Hindi languages and returned to Tibet in May 2004.
In a letter from prison smuggled out by friends, Dolma Kyab appealed for help from United Nations committees on human rights, saying that he was imprisoned because of the ideas expressed on Tibet in his unpublished manuscript.
The other awardee WU Yilong, 45, is a freelance writer and a prominent human rights activist based in Zhejiang Province.
ICPC while announcing the award, reiterated that freedom of expression, including freedom to write and publish, is "inalienable and fundamental human rights” and named 8 new honorary members, including Tibetan writers Tashi Rabten, Kunchok Tsephel Gopey Tsang, Kunga Tseyang, and Gangkye Drubpa Kyab.
UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has ruled that Dolma Kyab’s detention is arbitrary, contravening articles 13, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and falls within category II of the categories applicable to the consideration of cases submitted to the Working Group.