Two Tibetan political prisoners released from eastern Tibet

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, Dec 8: Chinese authorities have released two Tibetan political prisoners, Akhu Gyatak and Kunme from traditional Tibetan province of Amdo.

Akhu Gyatak, a former Tibetan village leader in his mid-60s was released earlier this month by the Chinese authorities after serving four years in prison, reports Dharamsala based human rights organization, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.

Akhu Ghatak (left) and Kunme (right)

Chinese authorities accompanied Gyatak to his home in Rebkong County in Malho, traditional Amdo province and warned his family members of severe consequences if information on his release was shared, the rights organization said citing local sources from the region.

The former village leader was arrested in 2012 for ‘inciting secession’ when he visited the homes of self-immolators to offer his condolences.

Kunme, a Tibetan political prisoner sentenced to three years for his alleged involvement in a self-immolation was released on Dec 4 after completing his sentence, according to various media outlets.

Kunme was also escorted by the Chinese authorities to his home in Ngaba County’s Meruma township in traditional Amdo province.

Kunme was among 30 Tibetans arrested on Dec 3, 2013. He tried to stop the security forces from taking away the charred body of Kunchok Tseten who self immolated on the same day.

While in detention, he was beaten and tortured severely for 11 months following which the Ngaba County People’s Court convicted him on charges of homicide and handed him a three-year term.