Gonpo Tenzin was arrested in 2013 after authorities deemed his music to be separatist
Free Tibet has learned that a well-known Tibetan singer has been released after three and a half years in prison. Gonpo Tenzin was released on 1 August after serving his sentence.
Gonpo Tenzin hails from Shakchu Town in Driru County, which is administered as part of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. He released a number of songs, one of which is entitled "No Losar for Tibet''. This album calls upon Tibetan people not to celebrate Losar (Tibetan New Year) due to the ongoing repression in Tibet. His music also promotes Tibetan culture, literature, identity, unity and the Tibetan language. He had distributed many DVDs of his songs to local Tibetans.
The content of Gonpo Tenzin’s music attracted the attention of the authorities and in 2013 a notice was issued for his arrest. He initially tried to hide but was arrested by Lhasa City police on 30 November 2013 and held in detention for a year and a half.
On 15 April 2015 he was found guilty of splittism, a state security crime often used against Tibetans who protest or express their culture outside of the boundaries tolerated by the ruling Chinese occupation. He was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment.
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