DHARAMSALA, 24 Aug: A former Tibetan political prisoner Sonam Gyalpo has passed away last Wednesday. According to multiple reports, the veteran Tibetan political prisoner in his 70s who spent over 16 years in Chinese prison breathed his last on 16 August 2023.
Sonam Gyalpo hails from Yardok Township of Nakartse County in Lhokha Prefecture in the traditional Tibetan province of U-tsang.
He was first arrested on 27 September 1987, the year when a series of pro-independence protests took place around Lhasa, Tibet’s capital city. He was charged with ‘counter-revolutionary’ activities and imprisoned for three years in the notorious Drapchi Prison.
Later in 1993, he was again arrested and sentenced for a period of one year- six months each at Nyari Detention Centre in Shigatse and Sangyip Prison in Lhasa respectively.
Then in 2006, he was arrested for the third time in less than two decades for reasons deemed political, he was later handed a term of twelve years behind bars. Collectively, he served over 16 years in Chinese prison.