Advocating for Justice: Choekyong Released, Gonpo Kyi’s Whereabouts Remain Unknown

By Tsering Choephel

Gonpo Kyi and her husband Choekyong during one of their campaigns calling for the retrial of their brother, Dorjee Tashi.

DHARAMSALA, 20 Dec: Choekyong was released by the Lhasa police authority on 18 December, while the whereabouts of his wife, Gonpo Kyi, who is currently detained, remain unknown, according to a Tibet Times report today.

The report, citing its sources, said that during his five days in detention, Choekyong was advised against staging protest campaigns in the future.

On 13 December, the couple protested at Lhasa People’s Court, calling for the retrial of Dorjee Tashi’s life sentence—a penalty given without proper trials on trumped-up charges. They also appealed to the authorities to permit them to meet Dorjee Tashi in prison, a request that had been previously accepted. 

They were arrested by security personnel and taken to an unspecified police station, and their situation remained unknown until Choekyong’s sudden release on Monday. Gonpo Kyi’s whereabouts still remain unknown.

Gonpo Kyi has consistently protested against the Chinese authorities on behalf of her incarcerated brother, Dorjee Tashi, who was convicted and given a life sentence in prison under circumstances that she and numerous human rights organisations deem unjust and unfair. 

Earlier, on 1 August, she was also beaten by authorities outside the notorious Drapchi prison in Lhasa after she appealed to the Chinese authorities for a promised meeting, which unfortunately never took place.

Her brother, Dorjee Tashi, was once a successful hotelier and businessman involved in numerous philanthropic endeavors. Following the 2008 pan-Tibetan uprising in Lhasa, he was arrested and sentenced to life in prison on trumped-up charges, without proper trials.

Gonpo Kyi and other family members have made multiple attempts to initiate the appeal process for a re-trial with the concerned Chinese authorities, but their efforts have yielded no results. Despite the arrests, beatings, and threats she has received from Chinese authorities, she continues to steadfastly seek justice for her brother.

The sibling duo, Dorjee Tashi and Gonpo Kyi were honoured with the 2023 ‘Trulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche Medal of Courage.

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