Tibetan Political prisoner in critical condition after release

Tsegon Gyal. Image: TCHRD

DHARAMSALA, 13 Oct: Former Tibetan political prisoner Tsegon Gyal is in critical health condition after undergoing surgery days after his release from the Chinese prison.

“The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) is deeply concerned over the health condition of Tsegon Gyal, a prominent Tibetan political prisoner,” the Dharamsala-based Tibetan advocacy group said.

Describing his health condition, the TCHRD reported that the former Tibetan political prisoner who was released last December after completing a three-year prison underwent surgery within days and that his health continues to be critical.

“Less than a month after his release on 6 December 2019, Mr Gyal was admitted to hospital where he underwent gallbladder surgery to clear up the blockage of the cystic duct on 14 January this year. His condition is said to be critical.”

After being held incommunicado since 9 Dec. 2016, Tsegon Gyal, also known as Gangshon Atse was charged with the crime of ‘inciting to split the country’ and sentenced to three years on 10 Jan. 2018 by the Tsojang prefecture intermediate people’s court. 

Gyal was most likely sentenced for his critical blogpost on WeChat micro-messaging app over the Chinese government’s failure to promote its ‘ethnic unity’ policy.  He was held at Dongchuan prison in Siling in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

Tsegon Gyal was born on 12 Aug 1963 to a nomadic family in Kangtsa region in Traditional Tibetan province of Amdo. Gyal, 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 28 July 1994. But China bowed to calls from the international rights group and released Gyal on 8 May 1999 in a bid to present a favourable image to the international community to achieve smooth handover of Hong Kong from British.

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