Well-being of writer Dhi Lhaden a ‘concern’ despite release from prison, says TCHRD

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD)

By Tsering Choephel

DHARAMSALA, 10 Aug: Tibetan writer Dhi Lhaden’s recent release from prison after completing his four years sentence, though a joyous occasion – “raises concerns over the uncertainty surrounding his physical and psychological well-being” says the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) in their report today. 

Dhi Lhaden was detained in June 2019 by the Chinese authorities for his writings that are critical of Chinese rule and its policies in Tibet. 

He was charged with vaguely termed “disrupting social order,” and in 2021 given a four-year prison term without access to a fair and impartial trial. Even prior to the trial, he had to endure almost two years of incommunicado detention “effectively severing all connections to family and legal representation” says the TCHRD report. 

The Tibetan author Lobsang Lhundup, known by his pen name Dhi Lhaden wrote a book titled Tsesok Le Trun pe Kecha – ‘Words Uttered with Life at Risk’ – a result of his travels across Tibet recording his experience and the observation of fellow Tibetans. 

His second book Tungol Rimtug – ‘The Art of Passive Resistance’ explores themes such as the rule of law, freedom, peace, equality, and non-violence with inspirational reference to the figures of peaceful resistance leaders like the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and George Washington.

TCHRD published the underground writer’s book ‘Words Uttered with Life at Risk’ in 2011 and The Art of Passive Resistance in 2015. His books and writings, as works of many other Tibetan intellectuals and activists, are banned by China. 

The Dharamsala-based rights group reiterate its condemnation of CCP’s unfair trial and imprisonment of Lhaden for “exercising his human rights, including articulating the hopes and aspirations of the Tibetan people and speaking truth to the authoritarian power of the Chinese Party-state.”

TCHRD also called for Chinese authorities to “disclose accurate and reliable information about Lhaden’s current mental and physical conditions,” adding that no restrictions be placed on him to seek timely and proper medical treatment. 

“As a party to international human rights treaties, the government of the People’s Republic of China is obliged to protect, promote and fulfil the human rights of all its citizens regardless of their ethnic, religious or political beliefs or backgrounds”, the report said. 

Tibetan political prisoners or prisoners of conscience face unjust charges, unfair trials and undergo diverse methods of inhuman physical and mental torture. 

Those who get released from prison, invariably come with their health severely complicated due to the brutalities they suffered in prison. Battling illness and trauma afterwards under the unfavourable watch of Chinese authorities, many of them die without recovery. 

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