Former political prisoner Tsegon Gyal arbitrarily detained on unknown charges

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, Dec 22: Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, (TCHRD) a Dharamsala-based Tibetan advocacy group, today expressed deep concern over Chinese authorities’ arbitrary detention of former political Prisoner Tsegon Gyal on unknown Charges.

According to information received by TCHRD, Tsegon Gyal was arbitrarily detained by the local state Security Bureau officers in Tsojang, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture on Dec 9 on unknown charges. Following his arrest, he is being held incommunicado at Kangtsa county detention center in Dashi county in Tsojang, the Tibetan advocacy group said at a press conference held today at its head quarter in Dharamsala.

15666170_1364997063544700_4498149_n“We call on the Chinese authorities to guarantee his physical and psychological integrity at all times, in accordance with international human rights law, in particular the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and to immediately grant access to his family members and provide legal representation,” the group said in its press release expressing grave concern about the security and safety of Tsegon Gyal.

Gyal is reportedly in poor health condition due to severe torture he endured previously in Chinese prison, in spite of which the Chinese authorities have still barred his wife, daughter, and aging parents from meeting him, the group added.

“Gyal’s arbitrary and incommunicado detention has deeply shocked and pained his family and it has gravely worried his relatives that his aged parents may not survive the shock for long,” the group said and added, “in such an eventuality, all relevant officials of the State Security Bureau of Tsojang and Quinghai Prefecture should be held responsible.”

TCHRD further urged the authorities to make public the reasons for Gyal’s detention and grant access to his family members and a lawyer of his choice, guarantee his physical and psychological integrity in all circumstances and that he be examined by independent doctors and provided adequate medical care if needed and his immediate release without any precondition.

Tsegon Gyal, aged 53, also known as Gangshon Atse was born on Aug 12, 1963 to a nomadic family in Kangtsa region in Traditional Tibetan province of Amdo.

15673487_1364996980211375_383217393_nGyal, along with Lukar Jam and Namlo Yak Dhungser were arrested by the provisional state security officers for setting up a group called Ássociaton of Domed Youth Committed to Sacrificing lives’ in collusion with outsiders to organize Tibetan independence activities in Tibet in May 1993.

The Intermediate People’s court of Tsonub Mongolia Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture convicted Gyal of espionage and counter revolutionary crimes and sentenced him for 16 years on July 28 1994. But China bowed to calls from the international rights group and released Gyal on May 8, 1999 in a bid to present a favorable image to the international community to achieve smooth handover of Hong Kong from British.