A Tibetan Buddhist monk serving a jail sentence for “sending money for prayer offerings” to the Dalai Lama and to the abbot of his monastery has been released from jail and has returned to the monastery, people in Tibet who are familiar with the situation said.
Authorities arrested Sonam Gyatso on April 3, 2021, while he was vacationing in Chengdu. On Tuesday, he was freed from Menyang Prison near the city of Chengdu in southwest China’s Sichuan province, after completing his two-year sentence, the sources said.
On Thursday, he returned to Kirti Monastery in Sichuan’s Ngaba county in poor health because of torture and maltreatment in prison, they said.
Chinese authorities arrested Gyatso, his sister Tsering Lhamo, and another Kirti Monastery monk, Rachung Gendun, for allegedly sending money for prayer offerings to the Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism’s spiritual leader, and the head of the monastery through Lobsang Thokmey, the monastery’s manager — all of whom live in exile in Dharamsala, India.
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