Tibetan political prisoner released after nine year term

Political prisoner Thinley Tsering is seen as a prisoner, left, and in his monk's robes
Political prisoner Thinley Tsering is seen as a prisoner, left, and in his monk's robes

3rd April 2017

Activist monk jailed for sharing images of brutal March 2008 crackdown

Tibetan political prisoner Thinley Tsering has been released after serving nine years in prison.

He was arrested in late March 2008 after sharing photos of Tibetans shot dead by the Chinese military in Ngaba County, eastern Tibet, during nationwide mass protests which rocked the entire region.

The monk, based at Ngaba's Kirti Monastery, distributed images of the brutal clampdown that followed widespread protests. A court in Barkham County later charged him with "leaking state secrets to foreign countries" and handed him a nine-year prison term. Tibet is heavily repressed and violation of its strict controls on the flow of news from the area is severely punished.

Warm welcome despite official presence

Thinley Tsering returned to his hometown of Ngaba on 30 March having been released from Mianyang Prison in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. It is unclear as to whether he suffered any health issues in prison. 

Local authorities escorted Thinley Tsering and his family from the prison to his hometown at night to avoid a grand welcome but despite the arrangements several monks were present to welcome him home when he arrived.

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