DHARAMSHALA: High-profile Tibetan writer and blogger Shokjang, who was sentenced for “criticizing China’s repressive policies” in his writings, has been released from Chinese prison after completing his sentence term. According to various news reports, Shokjang was released on 19 March 2018.
Druklo, who is popularly known by his penname Shokjang, was arrested and detained on 19 March 2015 by Chinese police in Rebgong (Ch: Tongren) county, Malho prefecture. On 17 February 2016, the Malho People’s Intermediate Court in Rebgong sentenced Shokjang to three years’ imprisonment term that ended yesterday. Shokjang was charged for “inciting separatism” and “disturbing social stability” even though Shokjang maintained his innocence throughout.
A joint statement released by the Tibet Network Member Groups said, “Shokjang’s arrest and false imprisonment expose a larger systemic issue of repression of all aspects of life in Tibet, including the freedom of expression. It also underlines the increasing insecurity of the occupying regime of China”.
Confirming Shokjang’s release, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy tweeted that human rights defender, Shokjang “should never have been imprisoned”. According to information received by Radio Free Asia (RFA), Shokjang is “still being closely watched by the Chinese, though, and we don’t know many details about his current condition”.
Shokjang was first arrested in April 2010, along with another writer Theurang, for writing about the 2008 protests in Tibet and the Chinese government’s violent suppression of the Tibetan protesters while he was studying Tibetan literature at the Northwest University for Nationalities. Theurang (real name: Tashi Rabten) was sentenced to four years and Shokjang was released after over a month of detention during which he was subjected to interrogations and torture.
Shokjang is from Gengya village in Labrang (Ch:Xiahe) county, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
– Report filed by United Nations and Human Rights Desk –