Former Tibetan political prisoner passes away

DHARAMSALA, 17 APRIL: A former Tibetan political prisoner has passed away due to prolonged health complications sustained during his time in a Chinese prison.

Lekshey Thubten, who served five years’ sentence in Chinese prison is reported to have passed away earlier this month due to ill health.

Human rights groups have long criticised the Chinese regime in Tibet for the torture and inhumane treatment meted out to Tibetans in Chinese prisons in Tibet and the incident just confirmed their criticism as Lekshey Thubten joined the long list of Tibetan political prisoners who succumbed to injuries sustained while serving sentence in Chinese prisons.

Lekshey Thubten, a former monk at Nalanda Monastery in Phenpo, Lhundrup County in Lhasa was arrested by the Chinese authorities in March 1995 for protesting against China’s ‘patriotic re-education’ campaign.

He was interrogated and severely tortured for two years at Gutsa prison before he was transferred to the notorious Drapchi Prison where he was subjected to inhumane physical and mental torture for 3 years.

Though it is hard to ascertain the circumstances surrounding his death, it is understood that the Chinese authorities have released him in 2000 in poor health with multiple health complications sustained in prison which has caused his death.

Lekshey Thupten was born in Phenpo, Lhundrup County in Lhasa in the Traditional Tibetan Province of U-Tsang.  He was ordained as a monk at the Nalanda Monastery at a young age and studied there until his arrest in 1995.

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