Tibetan political prisoner released in poor condition upon completion of 6 years’ jail term
DHARAMSALA, July 15: A Tibetan political prisoner sentenced to six years imprisonment for sending information outside Tibet during the pan-Tibetan uprising in 2008 was released in extremely poor health condition on July 8 after the completion of his sentence.
According to sources, Ngagchung, a monk of the famed Serta Larung Buddhist Institute in Serta county in Kardze Prefecture in former Kham province of Tibet was secretly arrested by the public security bureau officials in the evening on July 8 2008 from Chengdu where he had gone on a monastery-related work.
His brother Taphun and Gudrak, a fellow monk from the same institute who were travelling with him were also arrested along with him. Ngagchung was 39 at the time of his arrest.
Taphun and Gudrak were released soon after but Ngagchung was kept under incommunicado-detention for a long time on the accusation that he had sent information to “separatist forces” outside Tibet.
His whereabouts and condition remained unknown to his family and relatives until they found out that he was being held at a prison in Chengdu after secretly sentencing him to six years’ imprisonment with deprivation of political rights for one year for leaking “state secrets” to the outside world.
On July 8, he was released from prison after completing his six-year sentence. He is currently said to be in an extremely poor health condition with an impaired vision.
Other details could not be ascertained as authorities have cut off all communication channels such a phone and internet lines in the area.
Ngagchung is the nephew of Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, the late founder and abbot of the Serta Larung Buddhist Institute. After joining the famed institute at a young age, he studied buddhist philosophy for more than twenty years. He also served the institute in various capacities as a senior monk. At the time of his arrest he was head of the institute’s ethics department.