News and Views on Tibet

China sentences Tibetan music producer to two and half years’ imprisonment

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By Phuntsok Yangchen

DHARAMSHALA, December 3: The Chengdu People’s Intermediate Court has sentenced a Tibetan music producer to two years and six months in prison and fined 50,000 Yuan (US$ 8,130) for producing “politically” sensitive songs on November 27, according Kanyag Tsering, a Tibetan monk living in exile.

Pema Rinzin was a folk singer who has written many popular songs including ‘Yearning for the land of snows’ and ‘Tears’ since 1982. However, since 2008, he had stopped singing and started a film editing studio and has been producing music that has been banned by Chinese authorities. He was also threatened to shut down his studio in Chengdu. He is also a music arranger for many Tibetan singers form the region.

Tsering also noted that Rinzin was not allowed to have an attorney for his court trial. However, some of his family members were allowed to attend the proceedings.

On May 7, 2013, Rinzin was arrested from Chengdu city and has been in detention since then.

Rinzin is a native of Meruma in Ngaba. He was a former monk at the Namtso monastery in Ngaba County and studied at Larung Gar Buddhist centre in Serta County.

The same court has sentenced a Tibetan singer Kalsang Yarphel to four years in prison last week for his politically sensitive songs.

Tibetan singers, writers, and artists promoting Tibetan national identity and culture have been the target of China’s ongoing crackdown on intellectuals, especially after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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