Dharamsala: Two Tibetan political prisoners hailing from Tibet’s Amdo region were released last month, after serving long prison terms, as confirmed by our sources. Gonpo Tseten and Namkha Jam were convicted on the charges of “inciting separatism” and sentenced to 12 years and 6 years of imprisonment, respectively.
According to our sources, Gonpo Tseten, 40, was sentenced to 12 years prison term for alleged spearheading of the protest that took place in March, 2008 at Utsu Chugrar village in Bhelpan (Ch: Awangcan) township, Machu (Ch: Maqu) County, Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province. He was released last month from a prison near Lanzhou City, almost two years earlier to the completion of his sentence, on the grounds of “good behaviour”. Authorities barred his family members and relatives from taking pictures and videos of his release.
Often Tibetan political prisoners are released early due to their poor health. Currently, we are not able to ascertain the status of his health. Prior to his arbitrary sentencing, Gonpo Tseten was held in arbitrary detention where he was subjected to severe torture and interrogation.
The other Tibetan political prisoner, Namkha Jam was sentenced to six years imprisonment, preceded by arbitrary detention in February 2012, for alleged sharing of information and pictures of self-immolation protests with sources outside Tibet. Before his arrest, he was working as a teacher at a local school. Namkha Jam was sentenced to six years in prison followed by three years of deprivation of political rights at an unfair trial held in Rebkong County by the Malho Intermediate People’s Court. After serving his six-year term at a prison in Siling, (Ch: Xining), capital of Qinghai Province, he has now returned home to Changya Village in Rebgong (Ch: Tongren) County in Malho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, according to other news reports.
Both Gonpo Tseten and Namkha Jam will now be subjected to deprivation of political rights, though the exact deprivation term for Gonpo Tseten is not known. By deprivation of political rights, both men will lose their ‘rights and freedoms’ such as ‘assembly, association, procession, speech, press, and demonstration’ and will be subjected to intrusive police surveillance.
-Report filed by UN, EU and Human Rights Desk, Department of Information and International Relations-