Prominent Tibetan writer sentenced to four years in prison

Renowned Tibetan Writer Rongwo Gendun Lhundup in an undated photo. Image: TCHRD.

DHARAMSALA 20 June: The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), a rights group based in Dharamsala has said that Chinese authorities have sentenced prominent Tibetan writer Rongwo Gendun Lhundup to four years in prison. 

Renowned Tibetan Writer Rongwo Gendun Lhundup who writes under the pseudonym ‘Lhamkok’ meaning Shoe in Tibetan has been sentenced to four years in prison on the trumped-up charge of “inciting separatism on 1 December 2021 by the Xining Intermediate People’s Court” TCHRD said citing its sources.

Additionally, Lhamkok was also sentenced to two years of “deprivation of political rights”, the centre added.

The Tibetan writer was detained by Chinese security officers from Rongwo Monastery in Rebkong in the Traditional Tibetan Province of Amdo on 11 November 2020 allegedly soon after he published his latest collection of poems titled “Khorwa” (‘Samsara’ or the Buddhist concept of the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth).

Since his detention, he had been held in an undisclosed location for almost two years, TCHRD added.

TCHRD has maintained that “Rongwo Gendun Lhundup has become one of the latest in the long list of Tibetan writers and intellectuals detained and persecuted under the Chinese party-state’s forced cultural assimilation policy.”

“Under this policy, whoever advocates for the protection and promotion of Tibetan language and culture are silenced and imprisoned.”

The rights group reported on Saturday that a Tibetan intellectual and writer was also sentenced to four and half years in prison over a trumped-up charge of “inciting separatism” by the Chinese authorities as well.

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