DHARAMSALA, Sep 10: A Chinese court in Lanzhuo, the capital of Gansu Province has sentenced a senior Tibetan monk, who was detained for the fourth time in 2011 following his return to Tibet after attending Kalachakra teachings in India, to five years’ imprisonment for engaging in “splittist activities”, exile Tibetan media reports.
Jigme Gyatso, also known as Labrang Jigme or Jigme Guri of Labrang monastery in the traditional Tibetan Province of Amdo came into prominence after he testified about his brutal treatment in custody in a 2009 video which was widely circulated on the internet. In the video, he also urged the international community, including the United Nations to pressure China to stop arbitrarily arresting and killing Tibetans and persuade China to start a meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives for a mutually beneficial solution to the China-Tibet issue.
He was detained for the first time in 2006 when he returned to Labrang after attending Kalachakra teachings given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Amravati, India. He was released without charge after being held and interrogated for a month.
In 2008, during the pan Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet, Jigme was detained and severely tortured for a year before releasing him without being formally charged.
He was arrested again in 2010 and subjected to “political education” for six months in a hotel before he was once again released without charge.
He was last arrested in 2011 for allegedly taking part in “splittist” activities and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment on Sep 5.
Jigme’s whereabouts and condition are not even known to his family members.