Political prisoner released after three years in jail

Choezin returning home
Choezin returning home

5th October 2016

Choezin was arrested in 2013 following his sister’s fatal self-immolation protest

A Tibetan political prisoner has been released from Chinese jail after completing his three years imprisonment.

Choezin, from Dzamthang County in Ngaba, eastern Tibet, was arrested in 2013. His arrest followed a self-immolation protest by his sister, Kalkyi, who on 24 March 2013 set herself on fire at Jonang Monastery in Dzamthang. Her protest was in response to the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Kalkyi, a 30-year-old mother of four, died of her wounds during her protest.

Following his arrest, Choezin was charged with involvement in Kalkyi’s self-immolation. He was sentenced to three years in prison after an unfair trial.

A new law introduced in 2012 allows the authorities to hold those who encourage or facilitate self-immolations to be held criminally responsible for "intentional homicide". The law was introduced as part of a move to deter further protests. In recent years family members of individuals that have carried out self-immolation protests, along with local communities, have been punished with arrests and sanctions.

A prayer for his sister

Choezin spent three years in Mianyang Prison, located near Chengdu, the capital city of China’s Sichuan Province, before his release on 27 September.

His family members had gone to the prison in the hope of receiving him. Police officials instead took Choezin directly back home, where local villagers gathered to give him a welcome reception. 

Choezin was offered a Tibetan scarf and congratulated for his safe return. He was said to be looking very thin and weak when he returned home. His current health condition is not known.
 
The day after his return, Choezin visited Jonang monastery. There he offered a prayer at the site of his sister’s self-immolation.

 

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