Tibetan monk released after seven and half years’imprisonment

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, September 7: A Tibetan monk from Ngaba in the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo has been released by Chinese authorities after completing seven and half years’ sentence.

Jamyang Phuntsok, a monk from Ngaba’s Kirti monastery was secretly released on Sept 2 by Chinese authorities from Sichuan’s Mianyang prison upon completing his sentence.

Jamyang Phuntsok being welcomed by local Tibetans. RFA image.

In spite of the Chinese authorities’ warning on holding public reception for Jamyang Phuntsok, he was given a grand reception by his friends, relatives and local Tibetans from his village who garlanded him with traditional Tibetan ceremonial scarfs (kathak), a Tibetan source told Tibet Express.

“Seven and half years in Chinese prison has taken a toll on Jamyang’s health; he looks thinner and weaker now,” the same source added.

Jamyang Phuntsok, also known as Jamkho, was arrested on March 3, 2009 by Chinese authorities on charges of spreading information on Tabey, a fellow monk from Kirti monastery, who was the first Tibetan from inside Tibet to self-immolate in protest against China’s repressive rule in Tibet.

Initially he was sentenced to 6 years in prison but it was later extended by a year and half.

Two days after his arrest, Chinese state-run media Xinhua ran a report that claimed Jamkho confessed to the crime on March 5, 2009.