China Sentences Tibetan Singer to Three Years for Alleged ‘Patriotic Song’

By Tsering Choephel

An undated picture of imprisoned Tibetan singer Golok Palden. Image: Tibet Times

DHARAMSALA, 28 Nov: Golok Palden, a Tibetan singer from Golok in the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo, was sentenced to three years of imprisonment by the Chinese authorities on the accusation of singing a Tibetan ‘patriotic song,’ as reported by Tibet Times on 27 November. 

Palden, who hails from Yotak village in Dedham township, Pema county, was arrested by Chinese authorities a few months ago, the report said, citing a source from the region. Following his arrest, he underwent prolonged interrogation and detention before facing unjust sentencing.

In line with the CCP’s persecutory practices towards Tibetans, especially Tibetan intellectuals, writers, singers, and artists, the Chinese authorities carried out the arrest and sentenced Golok Palden to three years of imprisonment through a secret trial without proper legal proceedings.

The source told Tibet Times, “Golok Palden’s sentence was carried out without lawful trials. Since there is no court in Golok Pema county, Golok prefecture supervises the legal proceedings and trials. However, the authorities of Pema county informed Golok Palden’s family only about his three years of sentencing, without providing any documents of trials and sentence.” He is currently serving in the prison of Pema Country, Golok. 

The report states that Palden, a passionate player of the Tibetan lute Dranyen, earned sixth place in a virtual Dranyen-playing contest held last year. He gained widespread admiration from Tibetans across Tibet for his innocent demeanor. His music piece ‘Remembering Mother’ became popular and went viral on social media platforms.

His Kuaishou account, a Chinese social media video app, which boasts 98.5 thousand followers, has been wiped clean since March 26th of this year, with no photos or music currently visible.

Due to China’s stringent restrictions within Tibet and the risks involved in disseminating information, news of China’s persecution of Tibetans inside Tibet either remains hidden behind the iron curtain or leaks outside only after days and months.

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