By Tsering Choephel
DHARAMSALA, 14 July: Gonpo Kyi has spoken out yet once again in a video, lamenting the discrimination and injustice she suffers under the Chinese authorities during her multiple protest and appeals for a meeting and retrial of her incarcerated brother Dorjee Tashi, as per the latest video of her protest released by Tibet Times yesterday.
Speaking directly in a self-recorded video, outside the notorious Drapchi prison in Lhasa, Gonpo Kyi recounts how unjustly she has been treated by the Chinese authorities citing the Chinese constitution that grants her the right to ‘chose a defence lawyer’ and the right to a ‘retrial.’ She points out how ordinary citizens and Tibetans in particular are devoid of such rights.
“I have appealed for a meeting with Dorjee Tashi on 05 July and on last Wednesday. I couldn’t record the whole process as they didn’t allow us to film. Instead, they beat us and confiscated our phones,” Kyi said.
“Four or five policemen would group assault a single of us. Whether it is at the court or at the prison, it’s all the same. There is no space to address my case and facts. I will speak about how they act whether it is allowed or not,” Kyi declares in the video.
“According to the constitution of the nation, leaders and citizens are all equal under the law. Tibetans and Chinese should be treated equally under the law. However, are we treated equally?”Kyi questions.
Her brother Dorjee Tashi, a successful hotelier and philanthropist was initially arrested for allegedly funding the 2008 pan-tibetans protest against the Chinese rule. Subsequently, in the same year, he was imprisoned without proper trials on a trumped-up charge of ‘loan fraud’.
His sister and family members have been working on the appeal process for re-trial multiple times to the concerned Chinese authorities but to no avail.
She was allowed to correspond only once with her jailed brother two years ago.
“Following my appeal on 15 Jan 2021, I was allowed to make a short video of Dorjee Tashi. Since then, not only we haven’t been allowed to meet, we aren’t even given a chance to correspond through a letter. Despite their agreement that I would be allowed to meet him this month July, they wouldn’t let me meet him” she said.
The sibling duo, Dorjee Tashi and Gonpo, was awarded the 2023 ‘Trulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche Medal of Courage’ recently on Wednesday at the award ceremony held in Mcleod Ganj in Dharamsala, the exile headquarters of the Tibetan people.
Jointly organised by four non-governmental organisations: International Tibet Network (ITN) Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA), Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) and National Democratic Party of Tibet (NDPT), Sikyong (President) Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration attended the ceremony as the chief guest.
Dorjee Tashi currently remains incarcerated for a life-sentence since 2008.