News and Views on Tibet

Four Tibetans arrested and sentenced in secret trial

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Ya'an prison (Photo/Tibet Watch)

By Tsering Dhundup

DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 21: Four Tibetans from Eastern Tibet, who were previously detained and subjected to mistreatment last summer, were recently arrested again and subsequently sentenced to prison in a secret trial, according to a research group Tibet Watch.

The four identified as Bamo, Gelo, Khori, and Tsedou from Awi-Kyil-Rigo village in Serthar County, were detained in 2022, alongside Shukdar, who passed away while in custody. The five were known in their village as the “Five Good People” and were held in high regard by locals.

Their arrest on August 24, 2022, by authorities in Serthar County was linked to accusations of engaging in religious activities such as burning juniper and reciting prayers. 

Just two days into their detention, Shukdar’s family received news of his death while in custody. Despite suspicions by his father over the cause of his son’s death, authorities insisted it was natural and asked the family to sign a letter confirming it as a natural death. Police promised to pay 100,000 yuan (GBP 11,000) compensation followed by yearly payments of 10,000 yuan, but the family did not receive any of this money.

The remaining four detainees were transported to Kardze County on August 31, 2022, and were held without trial or contact with their families until their release in July 2023. This period was marked by beatings and torture for the four.

Although Bamo, Gelo, Khori, and Tsedou were released, recent information confirmed their re-arrest two months ago, leading to a secret trial where they were handed two-year prison sentences. While three of the detainees will have their six-month detention included in their sentences, Khori faces a fresh two-year prison term. Currently, all four are serving their sentences at Yak-Nga (Chinese: Ya’an) Prison.

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