DHARAMSHALA: Jailed Tibetan writer Dolma Kyab, 39, was released from Chulshul prison located on the outskirts of Lhasa city yesterday, 8 October. His release came after completing his full 10-year imprisonment pronounced by the Lhasa People’s Intermediate Court on 30 November 2005.
Joyous family members and relatives welcomed him after his release at his home.
Dolma Kyab was arrested by authorities on 9 March 2005 at Lhasa where he was teaching history at a city middle school. The Lhasa People’s Intermediate Court later sentenced him to 10 years in prison on 30 November 2005. A subsequent appeal made by his family was rejected.
Dolma Kyab was charged by the authorities with ‘endangering state security’ for his 57-chapter book titled ‘Restless Himalayas’ which contained writings on democracy, freedom and the situation inside Tibet. He was also accused of maintaining a manuscript on Tibetan geography, containing alleged information like location and number of Chinese military camps in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), etc. The books were not yet published at the time of his arrest.
His arrest and imprisonment was kept as a secret by the Chinese authorities. However, his case gained worldwide attention in 2006 after a letter smuggled from prison reached media in the west. In the letter, Dolma Kyab has written that he wanted to draw attention to the situation in Tibet and seek help to fight a jail term that he said was unfair.
Human Rights organisations and Tibet experts have also stated that the sentence given to Dolma Kyab was one of the most severe to be pronounced at that time.
Domla Kyab was born in 1976 at Arik village in Dola County (incorporated into China’s Qinghai province). He studied history and geography at Qinghai Normal University. He has done his postgraduate at Beijing University.
In 2003, he came to India to study English at Dharamshala, the exile base of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. However, he returned to Tibet in May 2004 to teach Tibetan history to students at a school in Lhasa.