Former Tibetan political prisoner passes away due to injuries sustained from severe beatings and torture in Chinese prison

An undated picture of Shonu Palden. Image: Gu-Chu-Sum

DHARAMSALA, Oct 2: A former political prisoner of Tibet has passed away due to prolonged health complications sustained during his time in the Chinese prison.

“Shonu Palden, 41, succumbed to ill health in Machu County Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo after years of prolonged treatment for torture-related injuries inflicted upon him during his time in detention,” Gu-Chu- Sum Movement of Tibet, a Dharamsala based organization of former political prisoners of Tibet reported earlier today.

The former political prisoner of Tibet reportedly passed away en route to hospital on Sept. 30.

Human rights groups have long criticised the Chinese regime in Tibet for the torture and inhumane treatment meted out to Tibetans in Chinese prisons in Tibet and the incident just confirmed their criticism as Shonu Palden joined the long list of Tibetan political prisoners who succumbed to injuries sustained while serving sentence in Chinese prisons.

Shonu Palden was arrested by the Chinese authorities on June 18, 2012, from a local restaurant in Belpen Township in Machu County on suspicion that he spearheaded protests in Machu County in 2008. Thereafter, he was interrogated and severely tortured for months in incommunicado detention without the knowledge of his family or legal representation.

Though Palden was sentenced to two years and nine months, he was released with multiple health complications before the completion of his prison term on July 24, 2013 when it became imminent that he would die from the injuries sustained from severe beatings and torture during police detention and interrogation, prison authorities released him to his family.

While he had to visit hospital time and again to receive treatments for health complications sustained during his time in Chinese prison, Namkyi Dolma, his eight-year-old daughter has been denied school admission in December last year due to her father’s political past by the Chiese authorities according to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

“Mr Palden’s incarceration and subsequent death due to torture-related injuries violate a host of human rights conventions signed and ratified by China including the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,” TCHRD said after the demise of Palden.

Shonu Palden hails from Bhelpan Village in Machu County, Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo and he is survived by his wife and three children.

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